By Saumu Jumanne
If you thought that Westgate Mall siege by Al-Shabaab gunmen who killed at least 67 people in September in Nairobi, Kenya, would be a lesson for managers and owners of malls in Tanzania to increase security, you are dead wrong.
The best known mall in Dar es Salaam, Mlimani City, for a few days after the siege introduced security checks and afterwards it was back to business as usual.
It was reported that the inspections made the number of customers decrease tremendously, and were called off.
Go to the rest of the malls in the country’s business capital, there are no security checks at all. Yet, the police have caught up with suspected Al-Shabaab trainees in Mtwara and Tanga after the Nairobi attack.
The Tanga story is extremely sad; it was reported that about 70 suspects, including children as young as 4 years of age, were caught being indoctrinated in Al-Shabaab ideologies.
Who knows if those kids at the end of the day could have been used as suicide bombers? What terrorist activities were the Al-Shabaab recruits being prepared for?
Would they have operated in Tanzania or outside Tanzania? Who is recruiting and hosting them? The public was left with more questions than answers.There is cause to fear that terrorists could be preparing to make headway into our motherland. The police have done commendable job in Mtwara and Tanga cases, but is it enough? What about other regions?
Looking back-in 2011, there were media reports linking Al-Shabaab terrorism with poaching in the case of Kenya.
According to elephantleague.org in 2011/12 there is proven involvement of Al-Shabaab in trafficking ivory through Kenya, “a trade that could be supplying up to 40 per cent of the funds needed to keep them in business.” More....