Popular Tanzanian Artiste Detained Over Drug Abuse Suspicion

Popular Tanzanian singer, Vanessa Mdee is reportedly being held in police custody for being involved in drug abuse.

Vanessa Mdee’s lawyer, Aman Tenga confirmed that she turned herself in after a list emerged where she was listed as a suspected drug abuser and dealer. The list was published by Paul Makonda, the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner.

Aman Tenga stated that Mdee was in South Africa at the time on official duties when she was listed by the regional commissioner.

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Vanessa Mdee’s residence was checked and she was also taken to the Chief Government Chemist for further investigation.

Mdee was among a list of other celebrities who were linked to drug abuse and dealership. Last month some of them were grilled by the Tanzanian police. The list included; former Miss Tanzania Wema Sepetu, singer Khalid Mohammed aka TID, Dogo Hamidu and Babuu wa KItaa. Others like Nassib Abdul( Diamond Platnumz), Emmanuel Elibariki, Rehema Chalamila, popularly known as Ray C, Wema Sepetu’s fiancé Idris Sultan, Azan Zungu, Abas Mtevu and Rugemarila Mutahaba were summoned to the central police station.

Innocent until proven guilty

However, Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Nape Nnauye warned that the crackdown on drugs should be done with care in order to prevent tarnishing the images of these celebrities wrongfully.

“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,

“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,” Mr Nnauye said, adding that they are innocent until proven guilty.

The crackdown on drugs was initiated by Tanzanian President John Magufuli. He ordered the Tanzanian police to begin a war on drugs, adding that it should be a fair fight and no politician or big wigs should be spared from being brought to book.

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“Nobody should be spared in this war against illicit drugs; no matter how famous or what status that person has in the society.

“Be it a politician, minister, a police officer, a son or daughter of a big wig, the law should follow its course,” Magufuli told the heads of the defence and security forces during his speech at the Presidential house last month.

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