The chairman of the main opposition party, Chadema, was arrested on the night of Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Freeman Mbowe was picked up by ten of his comrades in a police attack on his hotel in Mwanza, where they planned to organize a demonstration demanding constitutional reform. An interpellation that revives the memory of the authoritarian abuses of the late President Magufuli.
For the Tanzanian opposition, repression continues. The Chadema party accuses the new president Samia Suluhu Hassan of reproducing the same dictatorship as her predecessor John Magafuli. Because this new arrest of their leader, Freeman Mbowe, is reminiscent of everyone else he’s already suffered.
Like 2020, where he was arrested with a hundred people after condemning massive fraud during general elections.
This time, it is not known where the former presidential candidate was taken. Freeman Mbowe returned to his hotel at 2:30 a.m. when contacted by “an army of police,” according to his communications chief. He had planned to hold a meeting today to demand a new constitution.
Since 2013, negotiations to balance the distribution of power and end the imperial presidency have stopped. For President SuluhuHassan, these constitutional reforms are rebellious. In a video released on July 7, she urged Tanzanians to keep the peace and avoid provocateurs. According to her, we must first revive the economy after the pandemic and then address constitutional and political issues.
The pandemic is precisely the reason for banning the collection of Freeman Mbowe. However, there will be no restrictions this Wednesday for a Premier League football match, and not for Congolese artist Fally Ipupa’s concert next Saturday.