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Only in Tanzania: Police officers ‘ask for permission’ to use force on protesters

A confrontation between Tanzanian riot police officers and protesters turned into an interesting affair after the latter chose to ask for ‘permission’ from the demonstrators to use force on them.

The interesting scene caught on camera captures the riot police officers holding a banner telling the protesters to leave peacefully or they will be compelled to use force to disperse them.

The banner read, “Ilani, watu wote mliokusanyika hapa munaamriwa na serekali ya Jamhuri ya muungano wa Tanzania kutawanyika haraka kwa Amani, la sivyo tutatumia nguvu.”

The protesters were demanding for the release of an Air Tanzania aircraft that had been impounded in South Africa.

South African authorities on Friday impounded an Airbus 220-300 aircraft at Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg over an outstanding compensation claim against the Tanzanian government. The claim was filed by a retired South African farmer.

BANNERS

The protesters were seen holding up banners with messages like: “Remember we (Tanzania) sacrificed the little we had to support your (South Africa) struggle against apartheid and today you betray us?”

They were also chanting “Tunataka ndege yetu… tunataka ndege yetu.” (We want our plane back… we want our plane back)

It was not immediately clear who was behind the protest.

“We are looking to arrest the organisers and ringleaders as quickly as possible. Whatever these people are demanding should have been presented through proper channels, not this way,” Dar es Salaam special zone police commander Lazaro Mambosasa told journalists at the scene.