Categories: Africa

Tanzania Opposition Leader Arraigned On Terrorism Charges

Chadema party chairman Freeman Mbowe has been charged with terrorism financing and conspiracy Ericky BONIPHACE AFP/File

 

Tanzanian opposition leader Freedom Mbowe appeared in court on Friday on terrorism charges that his supporters have denounced as a politically motivated move to silence dissent.

It was the first time Mbowe was seen in public since his arrest along with other members of his Chadema party on July 21, just hours before they were to hold a public forum on constitutional reform.

Mbowe, 59, flashed the V-for-victory sign as he arrived at the court in Tanzania’s economic capital Dar es Salaam, transported in a green van from the prison.

Security was tight to prevent a repeat of a demonstration by his supporters outside the court on Thursday that was broken up by riot police.

But Chadema said 11 members of the party were arrested when they turned up to the court on Friday.

Mbowe has been charged with terrorism financing and conspiracy in a case that has triggered concern among rights groups and Western nations about the state of democracy under Tanzania’s new President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

The case against him was adjourned until August 13.

Mbowe had initially been due to appear in court via video link from prison on Thursday but the case was postponed to Friday because of connection problems, his defence lawyer Peter Kibatala said.

Kibatala said Thursday the charges against Mbowe “have no basis in law”, describing them as “opportunistic and probably politically motivated.”

Mbowe’s arrest came four months after Hassan took office following the sudden death of her predecessor John Magufuli.

There had been hopes Hassan would usher in change from the autocratic rule of Magufuli, nicknamed the “Bulldozer” for his uncompromising style.

But Chadema leaders say the arrest of Mbowe and his colleagues reflect a deepening slide into “dictatorship” under Hassan.

Tom Jones Usen

Disqus Comments Loading...
Share
Published by
Tom Jones Usen
Tags: Freedom Mbowe Tabzania

Recent Posts

  • Local

Over 300 Nigerians Illegally Arrested, Languishing In Italian Jails – Edo Ex-Commissioner

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gkrzxp31ruY     Osaze Osemwingie-Ero, a former Edo State Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, has cried out…

7 hours ago
  • Sports

Kante, Jorginho Shortlisted For UEFA Player Of The Year

  Chelsea duo N'Golo Kante and Jorginho have been shortlisted for the UEFA men's player of the year prize for the 2020/21…

10 hours ago
  • Local

EFCC Releases Former Abia State Governor Theodore Orji

  The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released former Abia State Governor, Senator Theodore Orji. The Senator was…

10 hours ago
  • Local

Buhari Approves Review Of Grazing Reserves In 25 States

  President Muhammadu Buhari has approved recommendations of a committee to review “with dispatch,” 368 grazing sites, across 25 states…

10 hours ago
  • Local

No Money Missing From Federation Account – Auditor-General

  Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation on Thursday said no money is missing from the Federation account. This…

11 hours ago
  • Local

Doctors’ Strike: NMA To Intervene As Ngige Meets Stakeholders

  The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has disclosed that the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association…

11 hours ago