Former Member of Parliament for Singida North Constituency Lazaro Nyalandu has reportedly been barred from fleeing to Kenya amid a crackdown on opposition leaders days after President John Pombe Magufuli was sworn in for a second term in office after a disputed poll.
Nyalandu, who lost his bid to head Singida North Constituency — which he served from 2000-2010 — was blocked at Namanga border while en route to Kenya to seek asylum.
The immigration officials at the border point cited lack of travel documents as reason for denying the Chadema party official entry to Kenya.
Longido District Commissioner Frank Mwaisumbe confirmed the incident earlier today saying, “It is true, the politician wanted to leave the country but he was barred by immigration officials because he didn’t have required documents.”
Mwaisumbe added that the authorities are holding some of the documents that he wanted to use to enter Kenya.
“We have asked him to bring the required documents if he fails we will have no choice but to take him to court, ” he added.
The latest comes just hours after another Chadema leader Godbless Lema was arrested on Sunday at Ilbissil in Kajiado County after he and his family crossed over through the Namanga border.
The immediate former Member of Parliament for Arusha Urban Constituency is currently being held by Kenyan authorities in Kajiado.
Speaking to Nation, Lema said he does not want to return back home over fears of persecution.
He claimed that his travel to Kenya was occasioned by death threats and being trailed by unmarked cars in Arusha.
“I was being trailed by unmarked cars back in Arusha. I and family also received a death threat. I decided not to ignore and left with my family. Tanzania remains a persecution ground for opposition leaders,” said Lema who is being held in a separate room away from the main cell at the Kajiado Police Station.
He maintained that he is not running away from justice but rather from an imminent assassination due to his political stance.
Human rights defender, Amnesty International Kenya has urged Kenyan authorities not to deport the politician.
In a statement, the organization urged the government to give Lema asylum, noting that his going back to Tanzania could lead to “political persecution and imprisonment”.
Opposition leaders in Tanzania continue to protest against what they term as electoral injustice in the country. The leaders claim the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) rigged the October 28 poll that saw over 90 per cent of government critics including Chadema presidential candidate Tundu Lissu lose.