Tanzania sets ablaze 6ha marijuana farm in anti-narcotics war

Home Affairs Minister says farmers planting cannabis in forests on the slopes of Mount Meru.

Tanzania has destroyed six hectares of marijuana planted in a forest in the northern Arusha region in its anti-narcotics war. FILE PHOTO | AFP 

IN SUMMARY

  • Home Affairs Minister says farmers planting cannabis in forests on the slopes of Mount Meru.

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Tanzania has destroyed six hectares of marijuana planted in a forest in the northern Arusha region.

Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said Wednesday the farms were located in Engalaoni village, on the foothills of Tanzania's second tallest Mount Meru.

Mr Nchemba, who led the operation, said the owners of the farms escaped but a manhunt was ongoing.

He advised farmers, traders and transporters of marijuana to seek alternatives jobs saying the government will continue to crackdown on illegal drugs.

He also tasked local governments to support the fight against cannabis farming.

Charles Mkumbo, the Arusha Regional Police Commander, said the police set ablaze the six hectares of marijuana and would continue to do so across the region.

Mr Mkumbo added that the cannabis farmers have moved deep into the forests on the slopes of Mount Meru where terrain is poor.

Tanzanian authorities launched a countrywide anti-narcotics war in early 2016 after establishing a drug control agency a year earlier.

The police questioned dozens of key business and political officials regarded as significant kingpins of the international drug trade and by July 2017 had arrested some 4,809 people on drug-related charges.

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