|Defence and National Services Minister, Dr Hussein Mwinyi.|
The Minister, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, tabling the ministry’s 1.9tri/- budget for the 2018/19 fiscal here on Monday, said porous borders and dilapidated boundary beacons in some country margins have made it easy for criminals to illegally penetrate into the country.
The ministry’s budget for the next financial year has increased by one per cent from the current year’s. Dr Mwinyi said the ministry is currently participating in the border verification exercise across the country.
“Instability in some of our neighbouring countries has resulted to the influx of refugees, some of them coming with weapons, which are later used criminally...we are doing our best to control the situation,” he told the house.
The minister said the government is working closely with neighbouring countries, especially in the Northern border to set up new boundary beacons to beef up security and restore the destroyed border marks.
The ministry has as well been using the navy force in collaboration with the infantry and air forces to deal with drug and goods smuggling, illegal fishing and human trafficking along the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria borders.
“Tanzania and Kenya have started the verification of the boundary beacons, with 238 kilometres between Lake Victoria and Lake Natron already validated...all these measures are meant to address security issues among the country’s borders,” said Dr Mwinyi.
He said Uganda has also agreed on the validation of boundary pillars, adding that discussions are at advanced stage because a lot of human activities have been going on at the areas and construction of the permanent buildings along the border has remained a serious challenge.
In his 2018/19 budget estimates, Dr Mwinyi said the government intends to equip the Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces (TPDF) with the latest state of art equipment, training and improve combatants’ working conditions.
He said the ministry will sustainably give the youth patriotism dossier as well as vocational skills. Dr Mwinyi said verification and payment of compensations to communities whose areas will be taken by the army for various projects will be effected promptly.
Earlier, a member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence, Mr Joram Hongoli called for timely disbursement of funds to enable the army perform its duties as required.