Sunday 25 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/24/18)
A recent spate of violent attacks in Tanzania threaten the country's democracy, the European Union has said. "We note with concern the recent developments which threaten democratic values and the rights of Tanzanians," the EU said in a statement Friday. The EU said it was "saddened by the tragic shooting" of a student, hit by a stray bullet during an opposition rally in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam earlier this month, and called for "thorough inquiries into all the recent deaths of political and human rights activists". "We are worried by the rising number of reports of violence in the last months," the EU said. On Friday the opposition Chadema party said one of...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/18)
An opposition politician was hacked to death at his home in central Tanzania on Thursday night, police said Friday, as his party described the murder as a "political assassination." Godfrey Luena, of the Chadema party, was the elected head of the small Namawala municipality in the central Morogoro Region. He was the second party official to be killed in such circumstances in the past fortnight. Luena's murder was confirmed by regional police commander Ulrich Matei, who said the motive was unknown and the killers were being sought. At a press conference in the economic capital Dar es Salaam...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/18)
A court in Tanzania on Friday charged eight people with the murder of renowned conservationist Wayne Lotter who was shot dead in Dar es Salaam in August. The eight individuals were charged with murder and conspiracy to murder, according to court documents seen by AFP. Lotter, a 51-year-old South African conservationist, was a founder of the PAMS Foundation which worked to stop the poaching of elephants and trafficking of ivory in Tanzania. He was killed by unknown gunmen on August...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
More than a hundred Tanzanian civil society groups raised their voices on Wednesday against "unprecedented" violations of human and democratic rights under the government of President John Magufuli. In a rare act of public solidarity, 105 organisations signed a statement warning of "multiple cases (of rights violations), unprecedented in (Tanzania's) history" involving "attacks, torture and forced disappearances of rights activists, journalists, political leaders and even ordinary citizens". They warned of "tension within the country, involving violations of both the freedom of the press and of expression" and raised fears about the "suffocation of democracy" through "...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Sunday ordered an inquiry after police admitted responsibility for the death of a 22-year-old student who was hit by a stray bullet as they sought to break up an opposition rally. The young woman's death on Friday night triggered an outpouring of national anger and demands for justice. "I am profoundly shocked by the death of 22-year-old student Akwilina Maftah," Magufuli said in a posting in Swahili on Twitter. "I have ordered the security forces...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Tanzania's main opposition party Saturday accused police of shooting dead a female university student and seriously injuring at least four other people while trying to disperse a peaceful demonstration in the country's commercial capital Dar es Salaam. The local police have admitted a person was hit after they fired warning shots on Friday but accused some protesters of throwing stones. The first-year university student, whose name and photo have circulated on social media, was struck by a bullet while on...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Tanzania's main opposition party Saturday accused police of shooting dead a female university student and seriously injuring at least four other people while trying to disperse a peaceful demonstration in the country's commercial capital Dar es Salaam. The local police have admitted a person was hit after they fired warning shots on Friday but accused some protesters of throwing stones. The first-year university student, whose name and photo have circulated on social media, was struck by a bullet while on a bus the day before a fiercely contested parliamentary by-election in the city's Kinondoni constituency, an opposition spokesperson said.
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
Separatist campaigners on the East African island of Zanzibar have appealed to a regional court to challenge the legality of its union with mainland Tanzania, they said Thursday. Rashid Salum Adiy, head of the Zanzibar Rights of Freedom and Autonomy (Zarfa) organisation, a group not recognised by the Tanzanian authorities, claims to have the backing of 40,000 supporters for his appeal. Adiy, who has organised protests in the past denouncing the union between Zanzibar and Tanzania, argues the independence-era union...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
A local leader of the main Tanzanian opposition party has been found beaten to death after men bundled him into a car, party chairman Freeman Mbowe said Wednesday. Daniel John was responsible for the Chadema party in the Hananasif district of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, where a heated local election campaign is under way. "Daniel John was kidnapped on Monday in the street by men in a car," Freeman Mbowe told AFP, the leader of the opposition in...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
Tanzania's Catholic church on Sunday accused the government of President John Magufuli of violating democratic norms by limiting freedom of expression. "Party political activities, such as public meetings, demonstrations, rallies, debates inside premises, which are after all every citizen's right, have been suspended until the next elections," said a letter penned by the country's Catholic bishops. Denouncing "violations of the constitution and national laws," the bishops pointed to the temporary shutdown of some media outlets, saying it amounted to "restricting citizens' right to be informed" and hence freedom of expression.
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
Tanzanian authorities have stepped up an escalating war on cannabis by destroying 14 hectares (35 acres) of the crop in the northern province of Arusha in recent days. Saturday alone saw eight hectares laid waste at the Meru forest reserve following another six acres earlier in the week in operation overseen by Interior Minister Mwigulu Nchemba. Tanzania is one of the world's largest cannabis producers. "We have decided to put a stop to the cannabis culture," Arumeru administrative secretary Timotheo...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/18)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli has announced his country will pull out of the UN's "comprehensive refugee response framework", which provides lasting solutions for refugees, including integration into host communities. "Tanzania has decided to withdraw for reasons of security and lack of funds," a statement said. President Magufuli announced the decision on Friday at a meeting of top diplomats in Dar es Salaam, the country's biggest city. Tanzania informed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in January that it was suspending the granting of citizenship to some Burundian refugees and that it would discourage new asylum applications.
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
The defence minister of Democratic Republic of Congo, Crispin Atama Thabe, confirmed Friday that former army colonel John Tshibangu will be extradited from Tanzania to face charges of rebellion. "He will be extradited," Atama Thaba told AFP in a text message. "This is the result of judicial cooperation between our countries." "Unless the Tanzanian government undertakes to try him and have him serve the requisite sentence," the minister added in an SMS exchange. The former colonel is accused of taking up arms against his country, the minister said.
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/18)
A former DR Congo army colonel who threatened an uprising against President Joseph Kabila has been arrested in neighbouring Tanzania, which may be preparing to extradite him, a rights group said Thursday. John Tshibangu, who deserted to rebel against Kabila in 2012, said in a video posted on social media on January 18 that he would "remove" the president within 45 days unless he apologised for a "massacre" of demonstrators on December 31, 2017. Catholic and opposition groups had defied...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...

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