Dar es Salaam. Police outlawed a meeting organised by opposition ACT-Wazalendo in Temeke District yesterday.
The meeting in Azimio Ward was the second the police blocked in recent weeks, sparking outrage from the Zitto Kabwe led opposition party.
Drama ensued soon after various leaders, including the party’s adviser, Mr Seif Sharif Hamad and secretary general Dorothy Semi arrived at a hall in the ward for the event. ACT-Wazalendo regional publicity secretary Ray Matata told journalists who had arrived to cover that the party had sent a notice to the authorities.
This reporter witnessed two police vehicles arrive at the Sunrise Hall and ordered party supporters who had gathered there to disperse, saying their gathering had not followed the right procedures.
Some of the journalists who attempted to photograph the unfolding events were intercepted and forced onto the vehicles, alongside ACT Wazalendo supporters who were arrested.
After hours of exchange, party supporters decided to vacate the area and went back to the party’s ward office.
“The meeting was above board because the police had all the information. Why did they leave us to go ahead and pay for the meeting hall if they knew we hadn’t followed the procedures?” queried Mr Ray Matata.
He blamed the issue on double standards, claiming that other parties have been holding meetings without even a permit.
The Citizen sought clarification from police to no avail until press time. A phone call to the Temeke Regional Police Commander was received by a person who identified himself as the assistant but the phone was switched off later when a follow up call was made.