Guns-for-cash wrong, says Goilala leaders

National, Normal


GOILALA community leaders are claiming that Central province Governor Alphonse Moroi’s guns-for-cash initiative is no solution to lawlessness.
Goilala law and order task force deputy chairman Sivi Komai said community leaders were concerned that lawlessness was still “flourishing”.
“The money used for buying back guns from gangs since last September should have been used to support the work of the law and order task force.
“The task force is working with Government stakeholders like the Department for Community Development,  Law and Justice secretariat and the NCD/Central social services.
“The money from the provincial government should have been used to fund our awareness work,” he said.
Mr Moroi visited affected communities of Kerau, Goilala, to mediate over the surrender of guns and peace ceremonies with communities after years of fighting and rising law and order problems.
Mr Komai said the “peace ceremonies” last year had no impact to the direct victims of the ongoing violence, from armed robberies to rape.
The clashes by youth gangs and the harassment of people in surrounding villages started after the 2007 elections, leaving three dead and about 5,000 villagers being constantly terrorised.
The governor’s office maintained that most of the communities involved in arms surrender process had seen some changes.
While the governor’s office declined to disclose the amount of money used to buy back the firearms, it maintained that the initiative was more effective and would continue this year.