Tanzania's main opposition says about 20 of its members arrested

2018-07-15 20:00
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Tanzania's main opposition party said about 20 of its members, including an MP, were arrested on Saturday in the south of the country over claims they were "fomenting trouble".

Lawmaker Frank Mwakajoka was arrested in his office in southern Tunduma after going to ask for forms for his party's candidates to take part in partial municipal elections in August, said party secretary general Vincent Mashinji.

"We don't understand the reasons behind this arrest," said Mashinji, adding police had arrested "20 other members of Chadema who were gathered in a local office of the party to prepare these election".

"According to the initial information we have, the police are saying they were fomenting trouble," he added.

Local police spokesperson Mathias Nyange told the independent newspaper Mwananchi he did not have enough information to comment on the arrests.

President John Magufuli has been accused by detractors of clamping down on opposition and freedom of expression.

In September 2017, Chadema lawmaker Tundu Lissu 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.

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Read more on:    tanzania  |  east africa
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