Zitto Kabwe charged with incitement, freed on bail

Friday November 2 2018

Zitto Kabwe

Tanzanian opposition MP Zitto Kabwe at the Kisutu court in Dar es Salaam on November 2, 2018. PHOTO | MWANANCHI | NMG 

The EastAfrican
By The EastAfrican
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Tanzanian opposition lawmaker Zitto Kabwe was Friday charged with incitement at a court in Dar es Salaam after spending two nights in police cells.

Mr Kabwe, the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT Wazalendo) party leader, had been arrested at his home on Wednesday for claiming that 100 people were killed in recent clashes between herders and police in his western home province of Kigoma.

Before being arraigned, the police Friday searched his house in Masaki in Dar's northwest.

The Kigoma Urban MP faces three counts of incitement.

The State attorney Tumaini Kweka told the Kisutu Principal Resident Magistrate Huduma Shahidi that the accused, at a press briefing on Sunday, October 28, made claims with the intent to sow hatred between the citizens and the police force.

Mr Kweka said that Mr Kabwe alleged that police officers went to a health centre in Nguruka where four injured herders had been taken for treatment and killed them. The statement, the prosecution said, was aimed at causing public fear and hatred.

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On the second count, the MP is accused of claiming that dozens of people had been killed before the Inspector General of Police Simon Sirro, who had visited the area, could give the official account.

Police later said two policemen and two herders had been killed after the pastoralists had unlawfully taken their cattle to a protected reserve.

Tanzania prohibits dissemination of information that could threaten public peace.

Mr Kabwe is also accused of claiming he had received alarming reports that more than 100 people of the Wanyantuzu tribe had been shot dead.

The outspoken lawmaker was released on bail.

On several occasions, Mr Kabwe has been arrested for questioning government data, holding a political gathering without a permit and even charged with sedition.

The case will be heard on November 26.

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