Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Sunday ordered the east African nation’s defence and security forces to step up war on drugs with full force.
President Magufuli who doubles as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces made the order shortly after he had sworn in the newly appointed Commissioner General of the Drug Control and Enforcement Authority, Rogers William Siyanga.
The President appealed to all government leaders to join forces with the defence and security forces in the fight against drug trafficking.
“We should fight drug trafficking with full force without fear or favour,” President Magufuli said in a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communication at State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
He praised leaders across the country who have started fighting drug trafficking by naming suspected dealers in the illicit business.
“Fighting drug trafficking is a mammoth undertaking that calls for political will and honesty. Let us join forces to end this social cancer,” he said.
The head of state said statistics showed that 1,007 Tanzanians have been prosecuted for drug trafficking in different countries across the world and they were now serving prison terms.
President Magufuli on February 10 appointed a new team to lead the Drug Control and Enforcement Authority as the war on drugs in the east African country gained speed.
The President made the new appointments two days after a Tanzanian senior official released a new list of 65 suspected drug traffickers that included politicians, religious leaders and business tycoons.
Paul Makonda, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, said some of the suspects owned five star hotels, shopping malls, and were former and current Members of Parliament.
Last week Makonda declared war on drug traffickers and he has already named over 100 suspects, some of whom have already been taken to court.
Releasing the names of the suspects, Makonda said the war on drugs was very tough since it involved wealthy and powerful people.
President Magufuli has supported Makonda and ordered the armed forces to help in arresting people suspected to engage in drug trafficking.