HOURS after three Tanzanian lawyers filed a criminal application suing police and security authorities over the abduction and unlawful detention of Mdude Nyagali, a social media critic of President John Magufuli, villagers found him abandoned in Makwenje village, Inyala ward, in Mbeya region. They raised alarm and people rushed to the place for his rescue.
Eye witnesses said they found him dumped in the grass. He was alive but he looked severely tortured and was in a very weak condition, speaking with difficulty. A local councillor and citizens helped to rush Mdude to a nearby hospital.
Early this week, three Tanzanian lawyers took legal action against the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), the Director General for Tanzania Intelligence and Security Services (TISS) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for unlawfully detaining Mdude Nyagali, a critic of President Magufuli, demanding his immediate release or prosecution.
Mdude was hijacked by masked and armed police on Saturday evening from his office at Vwawa township, Mbozi District, Songwe region. For the last three days, during which his whereabouts were hard to trace, there has been a huge public outcry and pressure, mainly through social media.
Chadema, the opposition party to which Mdude is member, held a press conference on Tuesday calling for his immediate and unconditional release. Police have so far distanced themselves from the incident, but all circumstantial evidences lead to them being implicated.
Peter Kibatala, Hekima Mwasipu and Jebra Kambole, all advocates of the High Court of Tanzania, filed Mdude Misc.Criminal Application No. 73 of 2019, which has been assigned to Justice Joaquine Demello for attention on May 9, 2019.
They want the court to order police and relevant government authorities to bring Mdude the court, or to release him from unlawful detention.