Tanzania’s Main Opposition Party Leaders Arrested in Late-Night Raids

Security forces in Tanzania have arrested senior officials of main opposition party Chadema during raids in the early hours of July 21, the party said.

According to a statement from Chadema Spokesperson John Mrema on Twitter, police officers arrested Chadema leader Freeman Mbowe at a hotel in the northern Mwanza city at 2:30 a.m. and also arrested 10 other party members.

While officers took other Chadema members to the Mwanza police station, there is no information of the whereabouts of Mbowe, the statement said, urging authorities to disclose his location and the reason for his arrest.

Turkish news company Anadolu Agency reported that Ramadhani Ng’anzi, regional police commander for Mwanza, confirmed that several opposition members were in custody but did not reveal the location of Mbowe.

The arrests came a day before Chadema was to hold a planned conference to demand constitutional reforms.

“We condemn the repression of the rights of Tanzanians with the strongest force. These are signs that the dictatorship that existed during the rule of President John Magufuli continues,” Mrema stated, as quoted by media company Al-Jazeera.

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