Tanzania arrests MP for calling President Magufuli 'ill-mannered'

2017-07-05 12:03
President John Magufuli (File: AP)

President John Magufuli (File: AP)

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Dar es Salaam – An opposition member of parliament in Tanzania has reportedly been arrested by police for allegedly insulting President John Magufuli.

According to BBC, the MP, Halima Mdee, was held on Tuesday evening after she said - during a meeting in her Chadema party - that Magufuli had become "ill-mannered" and would one day "order Tanzanians to go topless".

Mdee was accused by a district commissioner in Dar es Salaam of making "unacceptable" comments.

Tanzania's The Citizen newspaper, said on Tuesday that the commissioner Ally Happi had ordered the arrest of Mdee for uttering "abusive language" towards the president.

Mdee, the report said, criticised Magufuli over his stand regarding teen mothers’ right to return to school after delivery.

Pregnancy tests 

Magufuli sparked outrage from women's rights campaign groups in June after he said that students who became pregnant should not be allowed to finish their studies after giving birth.

"I give money for a student to study for free. And then, she gets pregnant, gives birth and after that, returns to school. No, not under my mandate," the president was quoted as saying at the time.

According to a report by Human Rights Watch, school officials in Tanzania were conducting pregnancy tests in order to expel pregnant students, thus depriving them of their right to an education.

But Magufuli hit back, saying if Tanzanians listened to western human rights organisations, "all the students in an entire class could have babies".

"In that case, what would happen? While the teacher is conducting class, they'll all leave to nurse their babies? Never under my mandate", he said.

"If the NGOs really love these students they should open special schools for mothers."

Read more on:    john magufuli  |  tanzania  |  east africa

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