Babati. Police in Manyara Region are holding five people accusing them of posting seditious content on social media.
They were arrested following the order by regional commissioner Alexander Mnyeti. The arrested include a popular Arusha based advocate Menrad De Souza and four other workers of Balton Company that deals with farm inputs.
Manyara Regional Police Commander Agostino Senga said the suspects were arrested on Monday, July 30, and they will spend 48 hours behind bars.
“As we speak, they are at the Babati Police Station. We arrested them after they shared misleading information that prompted the regional commissioner to order their arrests. News that they locked in a room isn’t true,” he said.
On Monday evening there were rumours that Mr Mnyeti had locked in a room advocate De Souza and his four clients.
But speaking to The Citizen, Mr Mnyeti refuted the claims saying he had not made such a move.
The regional commissioner said that on Monday he met with workers from Barton Company and that they were suspected of supplying poisonous farm inputs in 1999.
“Police were looking for them since 1999 after they were accused of supplying poisonous inputs that also killed 20 farmers and caused a loss of Sh248 million,” he said.
After discussions, he said, the four said they were ready to pay between Sh30 million and Sh60 million while farmers were demanding for Sh248 million.
“So I gave them 30 minutes to consult with their bosses in Dar es Salaam before coming up with the solution. But they contacted Mr Godbless Lema (Arusha Urban MP-Chadema) and Ms Fatma Karume President of Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) that I had ordered them locked in a room. This was not true,” he told The Citizen.
Due to that, Mr Mnyeti said he had no option but to order them arrested and remanded for 48 hours for posting seditious content on social media.