Tanzanian opposition leader arrested

Africa

Tanzanian opposition leader Freeman Mbowe has been arrested, said his Chadema party.

Mbowe was in his hotel room on Tuesday night in Mwanza, in the north-western region where he was attending party meetings, when he was detained.

Officials from Tanzania’s main opposition party said they have not been able to establish where Mbowe is being held.

Ten other leaders arrested alongside him had been taken to the Central Police Station in Mwanza, said the party.

According to Tanzanian media, police confirmed the arrests on suspicion of inciting “unauthorised assembly”.

The opposition party has been holding a series of internal meetings in an effort to revive support and had vowed to hold a big political rally to push for the drafting of a new constitution.

“This is a clear sign that the dictatorship under the [late President John Magufuli] still continues,” said Chadema.

Magufuli, who died in March, was accused of oppressing the opposition and curtailing press freedom.

His successor and former deputy Samia Suluhu Hassan has been regarded as more conciliatory and inclusive.

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