The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Saidi Mwema said yesterday despite decreasing crime rate, the country’s peace and security is being threatened by organised crime and terror threats by groups associated with Al Qaeda.
He said crime in the country decreased by 19 percent from January to December last year compared to 2010 statistics.
Last week a group, which identified itself as ‘Al-Shabaab Tanzania’, threatened to attack Efatha Life Ministry structures at Mwenge in Dar es Salaam.
The IGP who was briefing journalists on the two-day official visit of the Acting National Commissioner of South Africa Police Service and Chairperson of the Southern African Regional Police Chief Council Organisation (SARPCCO) Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi said: “We have peace but it is threatened by terrorism threats.”
Last week police said they would launch immediate investigations into threats by a suspected terrorist group to blow up a Dar es Salaam church.
Director of Criminal Investigations Robert Manumba made remarks to that effect in a telephone interview with this paper, which had shortly earlier received a copy of a three-page written statement apparently prepared and circulated by a suspected terrorist group giving Tanga as its base.
The group, which identified itself as ‘Al-Shabaab Tanzania’, threatened to attack Efatha Life Ministry structures at Mwenge “any time from now.”
Mwema said piracy is another problem, citing the attacks that have been made and a number of people arrested in Tanzania. He said some of the cases are still pending in court.
He thanked South Africa for assisting in the arrest of illegal fishermen operating in Tanzanian territorial waters.
“We are also experiencing piracy in Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria,” said Mwema, stressing that a multi agency approach is required to permanently end the problem.
The Police Chief said human trafficking is on the increase and that most Tanzanians involved are taken to South Africa before they are transported to other destinations.
Mwema said the visit of Mkhwanazi is to follow up on the implementation of resolutions reached in their past meetings, chart ways to fight against trans-border offences and challenges facing police officers regionally.
According to Mwema, the visiting South African counterpart will also hand over SARPCCO Chairmanship to Tanzania. Meanwhile, Mkhwanazi has said it is important for countries to cooperate and share experiences in the fight against organised crime, human trafficking, terrorism and piracy.
“This is an ordinary meeting that brought us together to discuss issues touching countries regionally for better plans and future implementation,” he said.
Mkhwanazi said that as the SARPCCO Chairperson he is responsible of making follow up on implementation of resolutions reached in the last meeting before handing over the chair to Tanzania next year.