Tanzanian police have arrested Freeman Mbowe, the leader of the main opposition party Chadema, according to Tundu Lissu, the party’s candidate in last week’s presidential election.
President John Magufuli has officially won a second term, with a landslide victory of more than 84% of the vote in this week’s election. His main opponent, Tundu Lissu, earned 13% of the vote, according to the official count. Tanzania’s citizens have accepted the results.
The opposition has demanded a repeat election, citing widespread irregularities, and called for protests against the outcome, which returned President John Magufuli to office with 84% of the vote.
Those arrested with Mbowe include former member of parliament Godbless Lema, the former mayor of Dar es Salaam, Isaya Mwita, and the former mayor of Ubungo municipality, Boniface Jacob.
According to Dar es Salaam police chief Lazaro Mambosasa.
“We arrested them in a meeting to organize the protests which we already banned. Some of these people travelled from upcountry to Dar es Salaam and are trying to use youths to take it to the streets.”
Any person implicated in the planning of illegal protests will be arrested and will face justice.”
Chadema’s presidential candidate Tundu Lissu won only 13 percent of the vote, after denouncing widespread fraud and intimidation of the opposition during the election and following years of repression and jailing of government opponents.
Lissu, who returned to Tanzania in July after three years abroad recovering from 16 bullet wounds sustained in an assassination attempt, said his party’s agents had been kicked out of polling stations and ballot boxes had been stuffed.
The result of presidential elections cannot be contested in Tanzania although the parliamentary outcome can be challenged.