Mbeya Urban MP (Chadema) Joseph Mbilinyi has threatened to organise his electorate to boycott receptions of visits national leaders if the government does not form an independent committee to investigate the killings that occurred in the city last year.
The musician-turned-politician warned on Tuesday when contributing to the budget speech for the Ministry of Home Affairs tabled earlier in the morning by Minister Dr Emmanuel Nchimbi.
The MP said during the fracas pitting police and Mbeya Urban residents late last year some civilians sustained disability, rendering them unable to engage in any income generation activities.
“Madam Speaker, November 11 has been branded as September 11 in Mbeya city due to the atrocities committed by police. I would like to state very clearly in this august House that unless the government forms an independent probe committee to conduct a special inquiry on the incident and take to court all individuals involved, I will ask my people to boycott receptions of all national leaders touring the area,’” he sounded the alert.
Mbilinyi said the Ministry of Home Affairs was a sensitive government entity that should discharge its responsibilities for the benefit of the public.
According to him, the Ministry has been conducting activities on directives from the ruling CCM for the benefits of a small clique of individuals.
He claimed that due to failure by the Police Force to maintain impartiality when discharging its responsibilities the public has now lost confidence in it.
“Some regional police commanders are now being used to work for a personal gain, and this practice will one day cost them or the entire ministry. Get back to ethics and your code of conduct. Borrow a leaf from Augustine Mrema on how he made the Police Force a credible government entity,” Mbilinyi added.
Speaking of traffic police, Mbilinyi said the Force should craft modern techniques of enforcing road safety laws instead of placing traffic police after every few kilometres on roads.
“Stationing traffic police after every few kilometres on the road will not deter people from committing traffic offences. The best way to start with is to have patrol cars on the roads, especially highways,” Mbilinyi suggested.
Mohammed Mnyaa (CUF-Mji Mkongwe) raised concern on the meager salaries paid to the police, saying the amount cannot cater for their monthly requirements.
According to him, police are paid 3,000/- per day on average, proposing the rate to be 350,000/- a month.
He asked the government to increase police salaries by at least 25 per cent every financial year to help them meet the rising costs of living.
The opposition MP said promotion in the Police Force was also done on the basis of favouritism, according to him, there was evidence showing some police officers had worked for 19 years without being elevated.
Sabrina Sungura (Special Seats, Chadema) said it was inconceivable for the country endowed with untold riches to fail to capitalise on the opportunity to improve the living standards of its citizenry; instead national leaders were busy crisscrossing the world seeking financial aid.
Sungura also supported Mbeya Urban MP Mbilinyi, saying police are no longer discharging their responsibilities for the benefit of the public as the trend shows the entity was receiving orders from the ruling party.
Diana Chilolo on her part said police officers were leading a difficult life due to poor pay and failure by the government to pay their allowances.
“While we are asleep in our homes at the night police are out there protecting us yet we don’t want to reward them handsomely,” she said.