BEIJING, Forget reports about Tanzanians being sentenced to death by courts in China for drug trafficking; the Chinese say they have not done it for more than ten years now, according to records at the Tanzanian Embassy in China.

According to the data made available last week, covering the period between 2006 and September 2017, some 264 Tanzanians were handed down different sentences, including capital punishment, for committing diverse offences.

Clarifying on the data, however, the Minister Plenipotentiary (Political and Consular Affairs) at the embassy, Saidi Massoro, said the accused were tried on the China Mainland as well as in Hong Kong and Macao.

The data shows that some 110 Tanzanians, including 35 women, were jailed in China Mainland for various offences. Of the women, 20 were sentenced to life imprisonment while of the 75 men convicted, 60 are serving life sentences.

The Tanzanian diplomat explained that of the 110 Tanzanians jailed in Mainland China between 2006 and September this year, four were found guilty of overstaying, two for committing fraud, five for involvement in theft and robbery and four students were found guilty of drug abuse.

The information shows that some 89 Tanzanians were involved in and jailed for peddling drugs during the period under review.

Massoro says that two people whose Tanzanian nationality could not be verified were jailed for robbery and drug pushing; but the two individuals happened to be Nigerians with Tanzanian passports. To date, some 95 Tanzanians are said to be in jail on Mainland China.

Fifteen convicts have since served full terms and freed or released on bail. I should say again ... that not a single Tanzanian has been executed for any offence in China, Massoro said.

In Hong Kong, statistics show that some 139 Tanzanians, including 35 women, were arrested, tried and handed down different sentences. According to the report, 135 were found guilty of trafficking drugs from Tanzania. However, some have completed serving their sentences with 110 convicts still in jail.

Massoro also said no Tanzanian had received a life sentence in Hong Kong during the period under review. He said the jail sentences handed down to convicts ranged between five and 25 years.

The diplomat said the war against drugs in Tanzania was yielding good results. Since President John Magufuli assumed office, Hong Kong authorities have not arrested any Tanzanian in connection with any offence.

In Macau, information shows that only 15 Tanzanians have been jailed between 2006 and September 2017 for involvement in drugs business. However, until the data was released last week by the diplomat, only eight Tanzanians were still serving their sentences. According to Massoro, between January and September this year four Tanzanians were arrested by authorities in Macau for importing drugs from Tanzania.

Speaking of how the embassy had always been kept abreast of court cases involving Tanzanians, Massoro said whenever a Tanzanian is arrested and convicted, the authorities in China would relay information to the embassy.