Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan Monday said that opposition leader Freeman Mbowe’s charges were not politically motivated, but he had been under investigation for terrorism since last year.
In an interview with the BBC at State House in Dar es Salaam, President Samia on Monday said that investigations began in September 2020 but were not completed. She added that the Chadema chairman was indicted along with others on charges of terrorism and economic sabotage.
Mbowe and three others have been charged with six offences, including financing terrorist acts, raising money for terrorist acts, possession of a fire arm, and illegal possession of police uniforms. Mbowe also faces two counts of conspiracy and financing terrorist acts.
Chadema argues that Mbowe is not a terrorist and called for the party chairman’s unconditional release.
President Samia said cases against the politician's co-accused are already being heard, but the investigation into charges brought against Mbowe was not yet complete.
“I think the police have now completed their investigations, they needed him so that they can continue with their work. But if you remember Mbowe has not been in the country for a long time, he was in Nairobi.
“But when he came back to the country, he called for a constitutional protest. I think he did calculations knowing that he has such a case…if he is arrested then he would say it’s because of the Constitutional demands,” President Samia said.
She added that she was not at liberty to discuss Mbowe's court case, and that the matter should be left to the judiciary to determine case.