The leader of Tanzania’s largest opposition party Chadema and other members were arrested early Wednesday ahead of a scheduled conference to call for constitutional reforms, the party said.
Freeman Mbowe and 10 Chadema members were arrested in the In the middle of the night in the northwestern port city of Mwanza, it said on Twitter.
“We condemn the suppression of the rights of Tanzanians with the sharpest violence. These are signs that the dictatorship that existed during the rule of President John Magufuli continues, “accused the party.
” Freeman Mbowe was attacked by an army of police officers and arrested along with other leaders when he arrived at his hotel at 2:30 am, “it says Inside.
While the other Chadema members were being taken to the Mwanza Police Station, there was no information about Mbowe’s whereabouts.
“We want the police to come out and say where the chairman is is and i s why he was arrested, “said Chadema.
The arrests come four months after Tanzania’s first woman president Samia Suluhu Hassan took office in March after the sudden death of her predecessor Magufuli.
There were high hopes that President Samia would initiate a change from the autocratic rule of her predecessor, nicknamed “Bulldozer” for his uncompromising leadership style.
The arrests came after Mbowe had promised to hold a meeting on constitutional reforms despite the provincial authorities of Mwanza banning public gatherings to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
“We cannot continue with the old order,” Mbowe said in a Twitter release on Monday Video, dressed in a red shirt and beret.
“We have the right to meet, but we are arrested, beaten, charged, tried and tried for two to three years and so on nd then released.
“If you want to arrest all members of the Chadema party, you should expand the prisons first, because we are all ready to be arrested and will not ask for bail.”
In April Samia had turned to the opposition and swore to defend democracy and fundamental freedoms in the East African country that had slipped into autocratic rule under her predecessor.
Im November 2020, several leading opposition leaders, including Mbowe, were briefly arrested after calling for mass protests against the accused of a rigged election that put then-President Magufuli in power for a second term.
That profoundly Covid-skeptical Magufuli died of heart disease in March, who, according to authorities, suffered from heart disease, but his political opponents insisted he had coronavirus.
Tanzania has long been considered a haven of stability and democracy in an otherwise unstable neighborhood, but the increasingly authoritarian rule of Magufuli grew alarmed.