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Top Tanzanian celebrities linked to drug trafficking

Tanzanian police over the weekend questioned top celebrities suspected of drug trafficking and drug abuse in an ongoing crackdown on anti-narcotics trade.

The celebrities appeared at the central police in Dar es Salaam for questioning after being named the investigation.

According to The Citizen newspaper, celebrities grilled included former Miss Tanzania Wema Sepetu, singer Khalid Mohammed alias TID, Dogo Hamidu and Babuu wa KItaa.

The Tanzanian Ministry of Internal Security had earlier released a press statement summoning six celebrities to the central police station on Monday.


Those summoned include Nassib Abdul – popularly known as Diamond Platinumz, Emmanuel Elibariki, Rehema Chalamila –  popularly known as Ray C, Wema Sepetu’s fiancé Idris Sultan, Azan Zungu, Abas Mtevu and Rugemarila Mutahaba.

Regional commissioner Paul Makonda added on the list the names of three police officers, one musician and four other people.

“There are three other police officers who shared Sh1 billion last week, the money was obtained from drug trafficking business,” he said.

Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Nape Nnauye has however warned that the ongoing crackdown should be handled cautiously to avoid damaging reputations of the celebrities.

“This matter has sparked public debate especially on how the artistes have been handled. I’m not here to say whether the authorities are right or wrong. I will leave it to the public to judge. One thing is clear though: Most of these listed are victims of drug use,” sa id Mr Nnauye.


He added:  “They are as sick as other victims of drug abuse, the difference is that they have big names and we all know them, but we have to be as compassionate as possible so as to help them win their fight and become sober again.”

The Minister noted that the artistes and other victims are innocent until proven otherwise.

“Let’s not judge them on the basis of accusations alone; we should be mindful that it takes years and a fight of a lifetime to create a brand, but it only takes a few minutes to destroy it. We should be careful in waging this war and ensure that once the dust settles, they (artistes) can get back to their normal lives.”