Police say attack on Mbowe doubtful for lack of evidence

Saturday June 13 2020

Dar es Salaam. Police yesterday said Chadema reports on the attack by unknown assailants of the leader of the main opposition Chadema, Freeman Mbowe, were doubtful due to lack of evidence on the incident.

Mr Mbowe was attacked on Tuesday midnight, beaten up and left to suffer a broken leg unknown attackers on June 9, near his Area D home in Dodoma.

After the incident, Mr Mbowe was taken to Ntyuka Hospital for treatment before he was airlifted to Dar es Salaam and admitted at the Aga Khan Hospital.

Soon after the incident, Chadema leader said the incident was politically-motivated and called for a quick and thorough investigation over the incident.

But yesterday police spokesperson David Misime said in a statement that enough evidence has been gathered at the scene where there were people who could hear Mr Mbowe screaming for help or witness the incident but failed to substantiate reports that Mbowe was attacked by three men.

“However, nobody admitted to have seen or heard him asking for help. The only witness remaining is Mr Mbowe himself and his driver, something that raises more doubt on the authenticity of the attack,” says Mr Misime in a statement.

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He said more questions over the incident emerged after learning that Mr Mbowe’s child, James Mbowe, who was at home wasn’t informed of the incident, instead Mr Mbowe was quickly rushed to the home of Chadema’s Special Seats MP, Joyce Mukya.

According to police, investigation revealed also that on June 8, 2020, Mr Mbowe visited various entertainment places including Royal Village and that he tested positive for alcohol upon admission at a hospital in Dodoma. Yesterday, Chadema’s head of communications unit Tumaini Makene refuted police claims, saying there were no laws allowing attack on a drunken person. He said the police didn’t show readiness to take up investigation on the incident from the beginning, referring to a failed assassination attempt on the former Singida East MP, Tundu Lissu near the same area, alleging the police failed to investigate the matter to date.

“No investigation has been carried out following Mr Lissu’s attack despite existence of evidence. This is to say they are not ready to investigate attacks on opposition leaders,” he said.

Speaking on Mr Mbowe’s progress, Mr Makene said he is still admitted at the Aga Khan Hospital under close supervision of doctors.

“I’ve just left from hospital, he is still admitted there after undergoing a second operation on Wednesday,” he said.

Mr Mbowe’s attack ignited debate from various political stakeholders with party’s vice chairman Mr Lissu calling on citizens, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) to voice concern.

But Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro stressed that “investigation is not politics”, referring to time spent by the US in investigating Osama Bin Laden.