Tanzanian Police Arrest Opposition Leader as Detentions Mount

DAR ES SALAAM (Capital Markets in Africa) – Tanzanian police arrested opposition leader Zitto Kabwe, the latest among dozens of politicians detained in the East African nation this year.

The authorities detained Kabwe when he arrived at the airport in the largest city, Dar es Salaam, on Wednesday, then transferred him the capital, Dodoma, according to a statement on his Twitter account. Kabwe’s Alliance for Change & Transparency is making inquiries about why he was arrested, the party said on Twitter.

Kabwe is the latest among a series of opposition figures who’ve been arrested this year as they’ve become more vocal in their criticism of President John Magufuli’s administration. In July, more than 50 members of the opposition Chama Cha Demokrasia Na Maendeleo were charged in court for unlawful assembly, while Tundu Lissu, the party’s chief whip, was arrested for allegedly calling Magufuli a dictator. Lissu was shot this month by unidentified gunmen and had to be airlifted to a hospital in neighboring Kenya.

“The political space has shrunk significantly since Magufuli came to power” in late 2015, NKC African Economics analyst Jared Jeffery said in a Sept. 8 research note. “It is not only opposition politicians, but the media, foreign businesses and civil society in general have been affected by the trend.”

Tanzania’s government on Tuesday banned a weekly newspaper for two years, the second publication it has ordered shut since June. Last month, Magufuli’s administration ordered owners of newspapers, journals, magazines and newsletters to re-register their publications by Oct. 15 or they won’t be allowed to publish.

Source: Bloomberg Business News



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