Tanzania authorities split over crackdown on people who use drugs
Tanzania's security forces have been urged by authorities to crackdown on drugs.27 Feb 2017
Tanzanian authorities claim to be intensifying their crack down on the illegal drug trade, but critics - including some in the government - say that the approach is targeting people who use drugs rather than those involved in trafficking.
“In this war against narcotics, no one is too prominent to be arrested even if they are politicians, security officers, cabinet ministers or the child of a prominent person”, Tanzanian President John Magufuli said on February 6, in a speech to security forces.
“Even if it is my wife dealing in drugs she should face the music", he added.
Although there have been no legislative changes, Tanzania has been intensifying its drug war implementation, and the president is one of many leading officials to publicly show his support. Magufuli’s claim that no one is exempt from the country’s drug policy was exemplified earlier in February, when authorities appeared to be making an example of high-profile individuals.
Wema Sepetu, winner of the 2006 Miss Tanzania contest, was arrested for cannabis possession last week. Several famous hip hop artists were subsequently summoned by authorities for alleged, but unspecified, drug offences.
This highly-publicised approach has created controversy in the east African nation.Share this on: