Tanzanian police officers fired after kissing photo went viral

Three Tanzanian police officers have been fired after a photograph of two of them kissing went viral on social media. -- PHOTO: FADHIRI LINGA
Three Tanzanian police officers have been fired after a photograph of two of them kissing went viral on social media. -- PHOTO: FADHIRI LINGA

Three Tanzanian police officers have been fired after a photograph of two of them kissing went viral on social media.

The picture shows Asumba Mwasumbi and Veronica Mdeme kissing in public in full uniform, and was taken by the third cop, Fadhiri Linga, using his phone.

Tanzanian newspaper The Post reported on Oct 12 that all three officers were fired on grounds of gross misconduct in the course of their duty.

Police regional commander Henry Mwaibambe said that the image went against the moral principles of the army, reported The Independent.

A lawyer at the Tanzania Legal and Human Rights Centre, Masoud George, told the BBC that the decision, while harsh, is unlikely illegal. "It is according to their code of conduct, so from a legal point of view we can't say their dismissal was unfair," he said.

The Independent added that many Tanzanians have compared the heavy-handed response by the security force to its reaction against accusations of corruption. Tanzania's police force was ranked the most corrupt last year on the East Africa Bribery Index.

In April, Kenyan traffic police officer Linda Okello was reprimanded after a picture of her in a tight skirt went viral online.