Tanzanian authorities on Wednesday announced a new crackdown on illegal firearms, demanding those owning the arms illegally should voluntarily surrender them to the police within two months from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31.
Home Affairs Minister Hamad Masauni said in a statement that owners of illegal firearms who fail to surrender them voluntarily during the said period will be prosecuted.
The statement said the police will launch a crackdown after Oct. 31, adding that those found in possession of the firearms will face the full force of the law.
Regional commissioners and district commissioners who are chairpersons of defense and security committees should coordinate the voluntary surrendering of the weapons, said the statement.
According to the statement, illegal firearms pose a threat to the security of civilians as some of them are used in armed robberies.
In November 2022, the police destroyed 6,208 firearms that were surrendered by citizens who owned them illegally. The firearms, including pistols, rifles, shotguns, and sub-machine guns, were surrendered in a crackdown from Sept. 5 to Oct. 31, 2022.