Tanzania's opposition party Chadema has condemned continued arbitrary arrests of its leaders and the ban on political meetings by the government.
Chadema’s Central Zone chairman Alphonce Mbassa accused the government of systematic harassment of opposition leaders.
“The government, using the police force, clearly aims at weakening the opposition, something that cannot be accepted and deserves to be condemned by all peace-loving Tanzanians,” he said.
Mr Mbassa said opposition leaders in the country had become refugees in their own land, adding that what was happening undermined democracy.
“Tanzania is a country that allows multipartyism and major aim of any political party is to clinch power. For this to happen, parties should be given space to operate and engage in politics in order to strengthen themselves,” he said.
Former chairman of Chadema’s youth wing in Dodoma Region, Manyanya Manyanya, said he supported sentiments by the party’s chief lawyer, Tundu Lissu, that democracy was being suppressed.
Mr Manyanya pointed out that CCM continued to hold public meetings, but Chadema leaders were being arrested, even while holding indoor meetings.
“It is important for every Tanzanian, who knows the importance of peace, to raise his or her voice for justice and peace, which we gained through the efforts of leaders who fought for independence,” he said.
Last week, Special Seats MP Kunti Majala was arrested by police while holding a meeting in Chemba District for allegedly campaigning before the general election, insulting the government and using offensive language.