TANZANIA’s main opposition party, Chadema, has implicated the police force and security organs in kidnapping Magufuli’s critic, Mdude Nyagali. The party’s director for protocol, communications and foreign affairs, John Mrema, addressed a press conference in Dar es Salaam as legislators raised the matter in parliament. Below is a brief analysis of content in Mrema’s press conference.
Grounds for suspecting police and security organs:
1. Iringa Urban Member of Parliament, Peter Msigwa, raised the matter in parliament on Monday morning 6th May 2019, seeking government attention and response, but deputy minister for home affairs gave controversial responses, even calling on police to arrest Hon. Msigwa for raising such matters in parliament. The deputy minister’s response triggered commotion in the parliament, on social media and in society.
2. Mdude had previously, twice, defeated the government in court. On 18th April 2017 the court acquitted him for lack of evidence against him in criminal case No. 128/2016 in which he had been charged with sedition. On 1st November 2017 police arrested him again and detained him for two days at Vwawa police station. He was later transferred to Dar es Salaam Central Police Station where he was unlawfully detained fro 21 days without bail or trial or notice to his relatives. On 23rd November 2017, he was transferred back to his home district and arraigned in court for sedition. On 24th May 2018, Mdude defeated the government again for lack of evidence against him.
3. Since January 2019, Mdude has been seeking legal redress in court against police officers and others who tortured him in 2016. His civil cause is registered with the High Court of Tanzania, Mbeya Zone. The defendants include three police officers (F2820D/CPL Nisile Mwaitande, F6960DC Bashale and Juli Mnyami), Songwe Regional Police Commander, the Inspector General of Police, and the Attorney General.
4. Mdude was abducted within 70 metres of Regional Police Headquarters in Songwe, yet police denied knowledge of the incident, and refused to have it officially recorded.
5. Prior to that incident, police had ignored reports of threats against Mdude that had been addressed to him on social media by a person who happens to be a ruling party zealot. This same person posted a derogatory statement against Mdude after his kidnapping incident on Saturday.
- 1. Resignation of home affairs authorities including minister, his deputy, and the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
- 2. Independent investigation of kidnapping incidences in Tanzania.
- 3. International community intervention because the government appears reluctant.
- 4. Citizens to speak up demanding government explanation on Mdude and others’ whereabouts.