Wednesday 18 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/27/18)
The head of Tanzania's main opposition party was charged Tuesday with inciting hatred and rebellion after being arrested alongside five other members of his party, a legal source said. Freeman Mbowe, leader of the Chadema party, was charged over his alleged role in a February 16 protest during which a 22-year-old student who was not taking part was shot dead by a stray bullet from police. Mbowe is being prosecuted on eight charges, according to a source at the Kisutu court in Dar es Salaam, speaking on condition of anonymity. The charges of inciting hatred and rebellion are linked to a speech Mbowe gave during the protest in which he said President John Magufuli would...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
Twenty-four people died after a bus collided with a truck in eastern Tanzania on Saturday evening, according to a witness and press reports. "A public transport minibus collided with a truck in Mparanga, in the Mkuranga district," witness John Nyoni told AFP by telephone. "We were able to count with 24 dead and 10 wounded," he added. The Mwananchi daily was among local media to report the crash, quoting police commander Mohamed Likwata. He said the 10 wounded were taken to the Muhimbili National Hospital in the economic capital Dar es Salaam, according to Mwananchi. Road accidents in Tanzania are common, often due to speeding, overloading of vehicles, poor road and vehicle conditions, but also lax road safety enforcement by police.
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Tanzanian police said Wednesday they had arrested a driver and a farmer accused of urging fellow citizens to protest against the increasing authoritarianism of President John Magufuli on social media. A call for nationwide protests on April 26, first launched by an opposition activist, has spread across social media for several weeks, prompting a harsh response from government and even Magufuli himself. "These two people here were inciting others to protest on April 26, saying on social media that there is no freedom, that there is a dictatorship, which is totally false," said police chief...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/18)
Three Tanzanian NGOs on Tuesday filed a complaint at the East Africa Court of Justice over a 2016 law that they argue violates press freedom. The Media Council of Tanzania (MCT), Legal and Human Rights Centre, and Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition said in their complaint that the law "violates" international conventions ratified by the East African Community (EAC) regional bloc, according to MCT executive secretary Kajubi Mwakajanga. The law in question is criticised by the media community for being...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A thousand artists from over 50 countries will gather in Ivory Coast on Saturday for a week-long festival of African music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and storytelling. The 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French initials as MASA, will mark the 25th anniversary of the event. This year's crop of artists come from all over Africa and the African diaspora in Japan, Haiti and Canada, performing in the economic capital Abidjan and...
(AFP (eng) 03/05/18)
The United Nations on Friday conceded that an attack that killed 15 peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo late last year exposed "gaps" in how UN troops are trained. The December 7 attack in the Beni territory of North Kivu province was one of the worst to target UN peacekeepers in recent history in the country. Fifteen Tanzanians were killed and 43 other peacekeepers wounded. It was the bloodiest attack against MONUSCO, the UN force deployed in DR Congo...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/18)
A Tanzanian court on Monday handed five-month jail terms to two regime opponents, including a lawmaker, for defaming President John Magufuli, their defence counsel said. Joseph Mbilinyi, a lawmaker with main opposition party Chadema in the southern town of Mbeya, was sentenced with party regional secretary Emmanuel Masonga. They were charged with linking Magufuli in December to the attempted September assassination of senior opposition lawmaker Tundu Lissu and the abduction of other opposition supporters. Lissu, shot several times at his...
(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...
(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.

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