Over 45 per cent of Tanzanians feel unsafe walking in their neighbourhoods due to increased crime incidents according to a report launched yesterday.
The report, which is an outcome of a research conducted by Twaweza, says that the figure resonates with an Afrobarometer data which shows that 43 per cent of the Tanzanian population fear crime in their homes and that the statistics are high compared to the average for Africa which is 32 per cent.
Twaweza, a ten year citizen- centreed initiative focusing on large scale change in East Africa, says the report dubbed ‘Are we safe?’ was aimed at reporting on the country’s state of security and that the data is from sauti za wananchi, which is a nationally representative mobile phone survey of households across Tanzania Mainland.
Speaking to reporters during the launch of the report, Mr Elvis Mushi, a Twaweza researcher, said the outcomes showed that most of the citizens become more fearful during elections as half of the respondents expressed fear of becoming victims of political violence as compared to 45 per cent who felt unsafe walking in their neighbourhoods over the last year.
He said the report further reveals that more than half of communities in Tanzania do not have police officers.
“According to interviews with village executive officers and urban neighbourhood chairpersons 62 per cent of communities in the country do not have a designated police officer and the situation is worse in rural areas where 76 per cent of the villages report not having a police officer posted there,” he said.
In his words, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Ernest Mangu, said the force was doing all it can to deal with the problem of police shortage in rural areas but noted that most citizens do not know the use of police officers saying they inform the police on issues that can be solved by local authorities in their places.
He said there is need to inform Tanzanians on the use of emergency mobile numbers as a large number of them do not know them.