Mashaka Magaji, a police officer is nursing a broken arm and even as it is evident that it is causing him serious discomfort he can still afford a simple smile.
He considers himself a very lucky man after he was shot five times by Hamza Mohammed the lone gunman who killed three other police officers on Wednesday, August 25.
But unlike his three compatriots, he lived to tell the tale, of a shootout that occurred in broad daylight in the usually calm neighborhood along the Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road.
Wrapped in a red Masaai shuka, Magaji was among the 11 police officers who were awarded certificates of courage by the Dar es Salaam Regional Police Commander Jumanne Muliro on Monday, September 20.
Apart from Magaji, others who were awarded certificates of courage are Adam Malya, Mashaka Magaji, Manfred Mrope, Majige Chuma, Faraji Hemed, Albano Mwalunda, Juma Chacha, John Alex, Issa Godwin, Halifa Mrutu, and Selenga Nyagawa.
The 11 officers were awarded Certificates of Courage and a token of Sh500,000 (175,170.26 Malawian Kwachas) by the Police Force
On that Wednesday, for Magaji it was just an ordinary day when they set out on their usual operations as planned by their superiors.
All of a sudden hell broke loose, he was facing a strange enemy and there was no way he was turning back even with the knowledge that three of his colleagues had been killed.
He says that when he arrived at the scene he was told by a traffic officer that three police officers had been killed.
âBecause this is the nature of our job, I had to confront the enemy to save the lives of many others,â he says.
“I have vowed to defend my country to the best of my ability, I got the courage and I said if those who have died was because of people like me, let me volunteer to defend the lives of others because one weapon can kill up to 1,000 people from a criminal depending on how he uses it, âhe said.
Though he does not give the exact details of how he confronted the gunman, it was during the shootout that he was shot five times in hand which he says is now healing.
Even with the near escape from the jaws of death Magaji is undone and he looks forward to the day when he will be back on duty to serve the Tanzania Police Force again.
He calls on his fellow officers not to be discouraged by such criminal acts and instead continue fighting crime across the country.
“I would like to call upon other officers to be brave and not be afraid even if they have seen their fellow officers being killed. We have sworn to defend the country,â he said.
Speaking after awarding the officers on behalf of the IGP, Simon Sirro, Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander, Jumanne Muliro said in the incident there were many officers involved and they all did a good job but the 11 were exceptional.
“Today is one of the most important days for the Police Force. We all remember the incident that happened on August 25, these officers fought to make sure the gunman does not cause serious damage,â he said
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