Dar es Salaam – Tanzania’s main opposition party, the Party for Democracy and Progress, also known as Chadema, says police have detained their leader, Freeman Mobo. Mbo was arrested before he was scheduled to speak at a conference to announce the demands for constitutional reforms.
A statement from Chadema’s communications director John Maremma was shared on Twitter, which said Freeman Mbowe and 10 other Chadema members were gunned down overnight in Mwanza, Tanzania’s northwestern port city.
“The party with the strongest force condemns the suppression of rights of Tanzania. These are signs that the dictatorship that existed during the regime of President John Magufuli continues,” the statement said.
According to local reports, Mbowe was approached by an army of police officers at his hotel when he arrived at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday and was arrested along with other party leaders.
While other Chadema members were taken to the Mwanza police station, there is no information about Mabo’s whereabouts so far.
“We want the police to come forward and tell where the Speaker is and why he was arrested,” the opposition party’s statement said.
Chadema’s deputy chairperson Tundu Lisu called for action in support of the country’s civil society.
“Calling for political reforms is not a violation of any law,” he said. Lisu said that he urges the “God of Tanzania”. [development] Partners to stop subsidizing CCM [Chama Cha Mapinduzi] To support dictatorship and democracy,” in a Twitter post on Wednesday.
The Chama Cha Mapinduzi is the ruling party of the country and the second longest ruling party on the continent.
On Monday, Mbowe said the party would not leave the city until a new constitution convention was held, telling the government that they should hone their skills to fight the people if it wanted to stop them from holding the convention.