Freeman Mbowe, the chairman of Tanzania’s opposition party Chadema, now claims that his life is in danger as the country elects new leaders in today’s General Election.
In a tweet on Wednesday morning, the Member of Parliament for Hai constituency said that around 2.30am and on the eve of election day in Tanzania, heavily armed gangsters raided the party officials hotel and kidnapped two of their security guards. Their whereabouts remain unknown.
Mbowe claimed that the “kidnappers” are believed to be operators of Hai DC Ole Sabaya & protected by Hai Police OCD adding that he fears for his life.
Tonite @ 2.30 am & in the eve of an election day in Tz, heavily armed gangsters believed to be the notorious operators of Hai DC Ole Sabaya & protected by Hai Police OCD have raided our hotel, kidnapped & disappeared with two of our armed security guards. My life is in danger.
— Freeman Mbowe (@freemanmbowetz) October 28, 2020
Voting has already begun in the country amid nationwide reports of social media restrictions and violence in Zanzibar.
Twitter has already condemned internet restrictions in the country affecting the microblogging site.
In a tweet on Tuesday evening, the US-based tech company termed the move as a violation of basic human rights.
“Ahead of tomorrow’s election in #Tanzania, we’re seeing some blocking and throttling of Twitter. #TanzaniaDecides2020. Internet shutdowns are hugely harmful, and violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet #KeepItOn, ” the tweet reads.
— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) October 27, 2020
Several people are reported to have been killed by police in Zanzibar on Monday and Tuesday amid reports of the arrest of Zanzibar Presidential Candidate Seif Sharif Hamad.
In the election, Hamad, who is attempting for the sixth time to be President, is contesting against Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi, son of former Tanzanian President Ali Hassan Mwinyi.
President Ali Mohamed Shein of CCM is stepping down after serving two terms in office in the semi-autonomous island.
Tanzania Mainland elections are also ongoing with CCM’s President John Pombe Magufuli and Chadema’s Tundu Lissu considered front runners in the presidential election.
Other presidential candidates include former Foreign Minister Bernard Membe and economist-turned-politician Ibrahim Lipumba.