As he planned to organize a demonstration on Wednesday to demand constitutional reform, Freeman Mbowe, leader of Chadema, the main opposition party in Tanzania, was arrested by the police and taken to an unknown destination.
Freeman Mbowe, the leader of Chadema, the main opposition party in Tanzania, was arrested on Wednesday night by the police. As he was returning to his hotel in Mwanza at around 2:30 a.m., he was arrested with ten of his relatives by « an army of police officers, » according to his communications director. By arresting the Chadema leader, the Tanzanian authorities nipped in the bud the demonstration that the opponent was planning to organize on Wednesday to demand a reform of the country’s constitution, despite the ban on rallies. For Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu, constitutional review is not the priority at the moment. The emergency is to revive the economy after the pandemic.
Chadema strongly condemns the arrest. « We condemn in the strongest terms the repression of the rights of Tanzanians. These are signs that the dictatorship that existed under the rule of President John Magufuli is continuing, » party officials said, while indicating that they had no idea where their leader was being held. The other ten people arrested at the same time as Freeman Mbowe are being held at the Mwanza police station.
Four months after her accession to power in succession to John Magufuli, Tanzania’s first female president is the subject of the strongest criticism from the opposition.