Chadema’s Mbowe and Lema arrested for planned demos

Monday November 02 2020
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Dar es Salaam. Several opposition leaders and officials are reportedly under arrest as police moved to forestall planned demonstrations called to protest the outcome of Tanzania’s General Election held on October 28, and which gave the ruling party an overwhelming victory.

The two main opposition parties, Chadema and ACT-Wazalendo, that rejected the results and termed the elections “a fraud and travesty” called on its supporters to demonstrate to force a repeat of the polls.

But on the eve of the protests, police are saying Monday, November 2, 2020, that they have arrested top Chadema leaders, including national Chairman Mr Freeman Mbowe over he planned protests.

Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone commander Mr Lazaro Mambosasa confirmed also arrested are Chadema’s Nothern Zone regional chairman Godbless Lema and former Ubungo Mayor in Dar es Salaam Boniface Jacob.

“We are holding them alongside several other people for inciting people to demonstrations,” Mr Mambosasa told a reporter of pour sister publication Mwananchi on phone this morning, November 2, 2020. The fate of Chadema presidential candidate Tundu Lissu remained unclear as at today morning.

A survey in Dar es Salaam indicate a heavy presence of the police in major road intersections as they planned to confront the would-be protesters. Other than the heavy deployment of the police, there were no signs of civilians protesting as people were seen going about their business as usual.

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Unconfirmed reports say the police around the country were since Saturday and Sunday staking out for key opposition officials in the regions with a view to arresting them to forestall any attempts to lead the public in street demonstrations.

On Saturday, Chadema and ACT-Wazalendo held a joint press conference in Dare es Salaam and announced they would embark on continuous and peaceful public protests to force a repeat of the elections. They warned the police against using excessive force to stop the protests they said would be peaceful. 

The National Electoral Commission on Friday declared incumbent President John Magufuli the winner of the General Election with 12, 516, 252 valid votes cast (84.4 per cent) with Mr Lissu coming second with 1, 933,271 votes (13.04 per cent).

On Parliamentary elections, the ruling party, CCM, candidates won in over 95 per cent of electoral areas, with only two opposition MPs declared winners on the Mianland and four in Zanzibar. Police clampdown on protesters in Zanzibar as the elections continued has, according to ACT-Wazalendo, left 12 people confirmed dead and several others missing from their homes.

The opposition has claimed the elections were marred with serious irregularities and voter stuffing in favour of CCM candidates. The electoral body previously claimed such claims were unverified.

The Zanzibar president-elect Dr Hussein Mwinyi is being sworn into office today, November 2, 2020, to succeed Dr Ali Mohamed Shein while President Magufuli will be sworn in on Thursday, November 5, 2020, in Dodoma.