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Tanzanian opposition to stage nationwide protests over leader’s arrest

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Tanzanian opposition to stage nationwide protests over leader’s arrest

Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Members of Chadema, Tanzania’s primary opposition party, will stage nationwide protests across the country today over the arrest of Freeman Mbowe.

Last month, Tanzanian police arrested Freeman Mbowe—Chadema’s leader—and other opposition members on the grounds of terror-related crimes. The arrests have sparked outrage amongst Chadema members and international observers, who argue that the defendants are falsely charged and have been prevented from receiving fair representation. Critics have tended to center their complaints on President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who they contend is moving against opposition circles to strengthen her Chama Cha Mapinduzi party’s popularity.

The protests will lead to further reprisals from the government as Hassan will likely increase her crackdown against the Chadema party in the short-term by pushing a new legislation to prohibit high-profile party members from acquiring seats in the National Assembly. Yet, expect such developments to damage Dar es Salam’s GDP during the medium- to long-term by altering the attitude of its foreign investors. Due to documented corruption in Tanzania’s private and public sectors, European companies such as Royal Dutch Shell would likely be reluctant to pursue large-scale investment projects within the framework of Hassan’s open-arm initiative towards foreign investors.

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