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Tanzania’s Main Opposition Party Chadema Leader Arrested

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Freeman Mbowe and 10 members of Tanzania’s main opposition party Chadema have been rounded up and locked behind bars pending serious charges.

According to details from Chadema social media accounts, the opposition leader and his cadres were rounded up in the dead of night in the northwestern port city of Mwanza.

Chadema was preparing to hold a planned conference to demand constitutional reforms on Wednesday.

“We condemn the repression of the rights of Tanzanians with the strongest force. These are signs that the dictatorship that existed during the rule of President John Magufuli continues,” the party charged.

“Freeman Mbowe was accosted by an army of police officers in his hotel when he arrived at 02:30 am and was arrested together with other leaders,” it said.

While the other Chadema members were taken to Mwanza police station, there was no information about Mbowe’s whereabouts.

“We want the police to come out and say where the chairman is and why he was arrested,” Chadema said.

The arrests come four months after President Samia Suluhu Hassan took office in March following the sudden death of her predecessor Magufuli.

There have been high hopes that Hassan would usher in a change from the autocratic rule of her predecessor, who was nicknamed the “Bulldozer” for his uncompromising leadership style.

The arrests took place after Mbowe vowed to go ahead with a meeting on constitutional reforms despite Mwanza provincial authorities banning public gatherings to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“We cannot continue with the old order,” Mbowe said in a video published on Twitter on Monday, dressed in a red shirt and beret.

“We have the right to meet but are arrested, beaten, accused and taken to court for two to three years and then freed.

“If they want to arrest all members of the Chadema party, let them first expand the jails because we are all ready to be arrested and will not request bail.”

In April, Hassan had reached out to the opposition and vowed to defend democracy and basic freedoms in the East African country, which had seen a slide into autocratic rule under her predecessor.

In November 2020, several top opposition leaders including Mbowe were briefly detained after calling for mass protests against what they charged was a rigged election that returned then president Magufuli to power for a second term.

The deeply Covid-sceptic Magufuli died in March of what the authorities said was a heart condition but his political opponents insisted he had coronavirus.

Tanzania was long seen as a haven of stability and democracy in an otherwise volatile neighbourhood, but alarm grew over Magufuli’s increasingly authoritarian rule.

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Politics

Burundi Government Withdraws Guards From Opposition CNL Deputies

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Members of Parliament aligned to the opposition National Congress for Liberty party in Burundi have expressed fear for their safety after government withdrew their bodyguards.

In the past days, local media has been leaking information that CNL deputies would soon lose their guards. For their safety, they will have to resort to guards offered by the police stations of their electoral districts.

“It’s in their constituencies that they are supposed to live,” said Désiré Nduwimana the Police Spokesman.

“The measure would concern all deputies. “We were told this at the start of our legislature,” one member of parliament was quoted by local media Iwacu on condition of anonymity.

A measure that worries deputies from the CNL party.

“This is not the measure that worries us. But rather its implementation in this period, ”a CNL Member of the National Assembly said.

Indeed, the measure comes at a time when members of the CNL party evoke “arbitrary arrests and forced disappearances of its supporters. ”

One of the fears of CNL deputies is to end up with “security agents who could be the source of their insecurity,” said this source.

“At the moment we have API agents to keep us safe, like ministers and other state officials. ”

Another CNL member said when we are from the CNL, “the worry is twofold, we do not know if we are going to choose our own security guards or if they are going to impose them on us.”

CNL party spokesman Thérence Manirambona says the safety of a people’s elected representative should be provided by someone he trusts.

“This should not be the privilege of members of the office of the National Assembly and a few members of the government,” he said.

Of the 126 members of the National Assembly, only 32 deputies come from the main opposition party, the CNL.

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Politics

Jailing Zuma Is Wasteful Expenditure- EFF’s Malema Says

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Putting in Prison an 80-year old Jacob Zuma and spending money on him is wasteful expenditure- the opposition EFF party leader Julius Malema has said.

“I held president Zuma accountable. You can have him in jail but not necessarily in a cell. You can put him under house arrest. You can have him at home. That is a punishment on its own. To spend money on an 80-year-old is a wasteful expenditure. You won’t be useful anyhow,” Malema said.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema made these remarks while appearing on a local radio station Kaya FM on Tuesday.

Malema’s interview came after the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria dismissed, with costs, the EFF’s application to have the bank statements of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 ANC election campaign made public.

According to Malema, he was suprised by the court ruling on his application.

“I think our courts should defend public interests and we should always fight for transparency. When there’s no crime being committed when you’re a sitting president and your name is mentioned, surely people should know if their purses are safe,” Malema noted.

He added that the president holds a very big influence and those who finance him, “he develops a soft spot for them and in order to hold him accountable you have to know who are the people who are financing him. They could be the ones running the state,” Malema said.

Such remarks have been very surprising to many people because in 2008 when Malema was ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president, he was a fierce supporter of Zuma. He vowed he would “kill for Zuma”.

However, Malema’s tone changed after he left the ANCYL and formed the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

In one of the memorable pictures, Malema has shown having a tea moment with Jacob Zuma at his controversial residence. But Malema denies ever being close to Zuma.

“I was never close to president Zuma. The first time I went to Nkandla was the time I went to have tea. I have never had his cellphone number and I do not speak to him on the phone. If you were to compare the relationship I had with Zuma, I am closer with Cyril Ramaphosa than with Zuma,” Malema said on Tuesday.

“I never had such a relationship with Zuma. I worked with him, and we shared stages together. We met every Monday back then. It’s strictly business,” he said on Tuesday.

Malema also spoke about the mass looting and riots which wreaked havoc in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal last week.

He blamed the unrest on the ANC, saying it was an “illegitimate government”.

“I don’t know why people vote for the ANC and then they want to complain to me. They have councillors they have elected. They have mayors they have elected. They have ministers they elected, and every time there’s trouble, they look for Malema and when I speak, I am an irritation. The ANC could not handle civilian matters in a civil way. They call it an insurrection because they want to justify the soldiers on the ground.”

Malema said the riots and unrest were not the result of an insurrection.

 

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Ugandan Rebels ADF Resort To Beheading, Home-made Bombs

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Life of Congolese in Beni, North Kivu Province is completely becoming complex as rebels now resort to new methods of terrorising residents.

According to a report by the Council of Ministers, these terrorists take advantage of security gaps within the region and inflitrate the population to behead their targets and also plant home-made bombs.

There are concerns that the security situation has become more complex by the adoption of a new modus operandi by terrorists, in particular the ADF / MTM, active in the region and whose various attacks are claimed by the Islamic State.

This observation was made by the Minister of National Defense and Veterans during the tenth meeting of Ministers last week on Friday, via videoconference.

According to Minister Gilbert Kabanda, this new way of the rebels to operate is nothing other than the use of homemade explosive devices.

For example, on Monday, an improvised explosive was found in a classroom at a school in Mulekera commune, Beni.

For more than a week the city of Beni has faced a threat from the ADF rebels who set traps for the population by planting homemade bombs.

The Government adds that “to achieve this, terrorists infiltrate through the gaps where they are assisted by accomplices or auxiliaries to plant bombs and behead civilians,” the report reads in part.

“While strengthening the vigilance of the Defense and Security Forces, the Government reiterated the Supreme Commander’s call to the population to collaborate more with its Army and its Police by denouncing any enemy maneuver, and thus contribute to greater security from the city,” adds this reports of the Council of Ministers.

In addition, faced with the prevailing situation in Beni, the armed forces of the DRC have taken and are implementing the following measures:

Analysis of the debris of improvised explosive devices from Beni to determine its chemical composition;

The strengthening of restrictive measures relating to the state of siege;

The continuation of military operations in depth in the red zones;

The reorganization of deployed units which have lost the bulk of their troops.

In addition, the Minister of National Defense and Veterans Affairs brought to the attention of the members of the Council that the observation made by the Head of State on the existence, a few years ago, “of mafia networks within the defense and security forces was greatly appreciated by the officers and the rank and file. ”

Thus, “he decided to immediately relaunch judicial proceedings against the alleged hijackers whose files are pending before military courts and tribunals,” said Gilbert Kabanda, Minister of National Defense and Veterans.

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