Dar es Salaam. President Jakaya Kikwete could settle on Mr Thobias Andengenye as the next Inspector General of Police (IGP) when Mr Saidi Mwema’s extended tenure ends in December.
The search for his replacement has reportedly narrowed down to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Andengenye, 49.
Behind-the-scenes moves to prepare someone to take the top cop job have been ongoing in and outside the force for the past six months, with Mr Andengenye rated highly.
Sources privy to the vetting say his promotion to the position of DCP in July last year from senior assistant commissioner of police was a calculated move to prepare him for the top job.
Last year, IGP Mwema made sweeping changes in the police top brass, moving Mr Andengenye to police headquarters in Dar es Salaam from Arusha, where he served as regional police commander, to chief of administration and resources management.
He was sent to the United Kingdom’s International Academy Bramshill in 2011 for an intensive programme on international strategic leadership, which is believed to have been the first step in his journey to the apex of the police hierarchy.
The current IGP and his predecessor, Omar Mahita, were trained at this same college.
The IGP is appointed by the President in Tanzania. Although it is not mandatory, the Head of State usually consults a closed team of advisers, including the minister for Home Affairs and the outgoing police chief.
Though it has not been made public, it is understood that Mr Mwema, 60, will step down on December 31 at the end of his six-month extended contract of service.
The IGP had largely been expected to remain in office until after the 2015 General Election but turned down a two-year contract and opted for just six months. Mr Mwema reached the mandatory retirement age of 60 in June this year.
Who is Andengenye?
Mr Andengenye joined the police force aged 26 as an assistant inspector, a year after he graduated from the University of Dar es Salaam with Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Public Administration. He was deployed to Arusha as part of his orientation and worked in police departments including prosecution. He also was an assistant to the officer commanding Arusha police station and has been in charge of the criminal investigations department. He also was a court liaison.
Between December 1995 and February 1997, he was stationed at the Tanzania-Kenya Namanga border, where he took charge of criminal investigations. In the next 16 years, Mr Andengenye rose steadily through the ranks to his current position after he attended the Gazetted Officers Course at Kurasini Police College in 1997.
From 1997 to 2003, he was former IGP Mahita’s Aide-de-Camp. Mr Mahita served as an IGP from 1996 to 2006. He would go on to elevate Mr Andengenye to Officer Commanding District for Morogoro region, where he also headed the regional crime office until 2006--when he was appointed the regional police commander.
In 2010, he was transferred to Arusha in the same capacity. It is during this time that the tourist city experienced political violence between the ruling CCM and the opposition Chadema following the disputed mayoral election of 2010. Two Chadema supporters were shot dead by police in January 2011 during a huge protest against the election of Gaudence Lyimo as mayor of Arusha as the two parties squared it out for control of the key city. Those who worked with him during those turbulent times in Arusha credit him with handling the crisis professionally and diplomatically, eventually heading off the possibility of more violence.