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MPs cautioned against state security questions

10th July 2010
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Deputy minister for Home Affairs Khamis Kagasheki

The government has cautioned members of parliament to be careful when asking questions related to security matters, saying the move could give room to criminals and enemies of the nation to know the country's weak points and thus pose a security risk to the nation.

Deputy minister for Home Affairs Khamis Kagasheki issued the caution in the House when responding to various questions posed to his ministry regarding shortage of some security facilities in some constituencies.

“When we talk of our security weaknesses we help criminals and people with ill will to our nation to use the opportunity to hurt us,” he said.

He told the House that the government was aware of the shortcomings which the ministry had and that it was working on them.

The first to ask a question was Lupa legislator Victor Mwambalaswa (CCM), who blamed the government for not taking action on police officers who arrest motorcyclists in his constituency and charge them over 40,000/- per alleged offence without giving them any receipts.

The lawmaker said he was forced to question the government following a prolonged trend by police officers to arrest motorcyclists, mostly tobacco farmers during harvest time, who do not have driving licences.

“It is well known that most businessmen in Lupa use motorcycles, though they do not own driving licences. This is also contributed by long distances from the district headquarters, Chunya, which is about 50 kilometres from Lupa,” he said, adding that the authorities responsible for license issuing never travel to Lupa, a move which makes it difficult for the owners to obtain driving licences.,” said Mwambalaswa.

He said most Lupa residents purchase the motorcycles during harvest season.

Responding to the question, Kagasheki said it was not the duty of the police to issue licences but of the Tanzania Revenue Authority.

He said further that it was the duty of the police to safeguard the lives of citizens.

Kagasheki warned that if an individual acted against the laws of the land, including riding motorcycles without having a licence, they would be eligible for legal action.

In his basic question, the Lupa MP had wanted to know the government’s plan to send a vehicle to Lupa police station which oversees the whole Kipambwe division which has seven wards.

The other MPs who had the same concern in their areas included Dr Samson Mpanda of Kilwa North and Bujiku Sakila of Bukwimba.

The minister said the government had already sent one motorcycle to the police station and was planning to send another motorcycle in this 2010/2011 budget.

He said the government planned to send vehicles and motorcycles to all police stations in the country, but all depended on the budget.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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