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Why an entire village in Tanzania risks arrest

An entire population in a Tanzanian village risks being arrested for what the police have termed as economic sabotage.

Residents of Ngolo village have been accused of deliberately smashing pipes taking water to a neighbouring settlement in Mbeya region following a border dispute.

In retribution, Governor Albert Chalamika ordered all the inhabitants of this village be arrested ‘regardless of their condition’.

In response, police on Thursday deployed several vehicles and officers to arrest the villagers, said regional commander Ulrich Matei.


“They committed economic sabotage. The government has disbursed money, installed water pipes and they destroyed them! We cannot accept that,” Matie said.

The police chief added that he had sent “enough vehicles, with enough fuel and police on board” to arrest the villagers.

Details about the incident remain sketchy, but the village, whose population is around 1,600, lies in an area where water resources are sketchy.

As expected this development has elicited debate on social media.