File picture.

JOHANNESBURG – An entire village in the south of Tanzania is to be arrested after water pipes in the area were destroyed by a mob.

Tanzanian police confirmed the planned arrest after the inhabitants of Ngolo village were accused of deliberately smashing pipes taking water to a neighbouring settlement in Mbeya region, the Daily Monitor reported on Friday.

Governor Albert Chalamila on Wednesday ordered that all the inhabitants of the village be arrested "regardless of their condition".  Following his request police on Thursday deployed several vehicles and officers to arrest the villagers, said regional commander Ulrich Matei.

"They committed economic sabotage. The government has disbursed money, installed water pipes and they destroyed them! We cannot accept that," Matei said.

Numerous vehicles with spare fuel and sufficient numbers of police have been sent into the village in preparation for the mass arrest. Details about the incident remain sketchy, but the village, whose population is around 1,600, lies in an area where water is scarce.

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African News Agency (ANA)