Tanzanian opposition leaders on trial for 'illegal' protest

2018-05-15 19:04
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The head of Tanzania's main opposition party went on trial on Tuesday with eight other leaders on charges of holding an illegal protest in February during which a student died.

Freeman Mbowe, leader of the Chadema party and his co-accused, which include several secretary generals and the head of the women's league, have been charged with holding an illicit gathering.

Mbowe is also accused of "inciting hatred" for a speech he gave during the February 16 protest in which he said President John Magufuli would not last long in his job.

During the march, a 22-year-old student who was not participating was shot dead by a stray round fired by police.

Police shot live rounds to disperse Chadema supporters who were marching to a local electoral commission office to demand accreditation to observe a by-election the following day.

Magufuli ordered a probe into the death.

However, six police officers arrested over the shooting were released in April as prosecutors argued the fault lay with the protest organisers.

Defence attorney Peter Kibatala asked the court to move the case from the regional court in the economic capital Dar es Salaam, to the High Court, which was rejected by the judge.

Magufuli, 58, took office in 2015 as a corruption-fighting "man of the people" but has been criticised for his authoritarian leadership style.

Detractors say he has clamped down on opposition and freedom of expression.

In September 2017, lawmaker Tundu Lissu, a member of Chadema, was shot several times at his home, and in February two local Chadema officials were killed by unknown gunmen, in murders described by the opposition as political assassinations.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    tanzania  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.