Tanzania Police Force

The police force in Tanzania is a national body that falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs and is lead by the Inspector General of Police. The Tanzania Police Force (TPF) is divided into five departments, which fall under the control of individual Commissioners.The departments are as follows:

  • Administration and resource management;
  • Operations;
  • Criminal investigation;
  • Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone; and
  • Zanzibar police.

Further, the mandate of the TPF is to:

  • Maintain law and order;
  • Protect life and property; and
  • Prevent, detect and investigate crime.

Oversight Mechanisms

Oversight of the police is conducted both internally and externally, with internal disciplinary procedures conducted by way of tribunals and other measures by the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Police and the Inspector-General of Police. Although private citizens are allowed to lay complaints against individual members at police stations, internal oversight mechanisms are not considered effective given the lack of transparency in proceedings and the dis-incentive to lodge complaints.

In terms of external oversight, the Office of the Ombudsman or Permanent Commission of Enquiry, which is an independent body, retains the power to investigate incidents of corruption and abuse of power by public authorities, including members of the police, and make recommendations to the President. The Constitution outlines the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman, which includes the power to investigate members of the Tanzanian and Zanzibar government, members of commissions and any other public authority, excluding the President. In addition, the Offices of the Attorney-General and Auditor-General are empowered to audit the accounts of government and examine records and accounts.

Furthermore, Tanzania’s human rights commission, which is referred to as the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG), is responsible for investigating human rights abuses, which includes allegations of police brutality, corruption, and violations of women’s rights, as well as incidents of maladministration. Although CHRAGG’s independence has been questioned, civil society organisations in Tanzania have commended CHRAGG for making valuable contributions to human rights efforts, including the training of high-level police officials. These organisations include the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), the Centre for Human Rights Promotion, and the Tanzania Women’s Lawyers’ Association, which are also actively engaged in police oversight issues.

  1. African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (2008) An Audit of Police Oversight in Africa: Tanzania, p 69-70
  2. Interpol: Connecting Police For A Safer World. Country Profile: Swaziland. Available at http://www.interpol.int/Member-countries/Africa/Swaziland<Accessed on 1 April 2016>.
  3. African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (2008) An Audit of Police Oversight in Africa: Swaziland
Country Category Year Title URL
Tanzania Human Rights Report 2015/2016 Amnesty International Tanzania Country Report 2015/2016 Source
Tanzania General 2016 Interpol Country Profile Tanzania Source
Tanzania Paper 2012 Effective Administration of the Police and Prosecution Source (PDF)
Tanzania General 2010 Tanzania: Tanzania Police Force; A handbook for the Police Officers Source (PDF)
Tanzania Research publications 2009 Tanzania: Restoring Police Service with a Community Vision; Tanzania, 2006-2009 Source (PDF)