Tanzania’s opposition party Chadema now says the last night attack on Freeman Mbowe was meant to silence him over hard stance on President John Pombe Magufuli’s administration.
In a statement on Tuesday, Chadema Secretary-General John Mnyika said the unknown individuals armed to the teeth accused Mbowe of frustrating government agenda through constant criticism.
They reportedly told the Chadema national chairman that they were not sent to kill but to warn him.
“Waliomshambulia Mwenyekiti Freeman Mbowe kuna maneno walikuwa wanayatamka zaidi ya haya ya kwamba wewe unaisumbua sana Serikali, walikuwa wanasema kwamba hatudhamirii kukuuwa lakini pamoja na kutamka maneno hayo walikuwa na silaha ambazo hawakuzitumia, ” said Mnyika.
Mbowe was attacked while returning to his Dodoma home.
Mnyika said that Mbowe was hit on several parts of his body but suffered a serious injury on his right leg.
He said Mbowe has been transferred to a hospital in Dar es Salaam for specialized treatment.
“Bado uchunguzi unaendelea kujua kiwango cha madhara ambayo ameyapata na kwa mazingira hayo hayo ya uchunguzi na mahitaji ya kiuchunguzi ndio maana Chama kimeona ni vema aletwe jijini Dar es salaam kwa ajili ya matibabu zaidi na uchunguzi zaidi, ” he added.
The party called out the police for downplaying the attempt on Mbowe’s life.
“Je Tanzania Police wameshafanya uchunguzi kikamilifu mpaka waseme ni tukio la kawaida? Hili Ni swali ambalo wanahabari na Watanzania ni vyema mkaliuliza jeshi la polisi, tukio litokee usiku asubuhi polisi waseme ni tukio la kawaida, tayari wameshafanya uchunguzi? Katibu Mkuu, ” said Mnyika.
“Wangetoka na kauli kwamba wanaendelea na uchunguzi kwa kina na sio kauli ni tukio la kawaida mimi nisingezungumza haya ninayoyazungumza, vyema mkawauliza polisi iweje tukio litokee usiku wa kuamkia leo alafu asubuhi polisi wajitokeze waseme ni tukio la kawaida.”
The Secretary-General likened the Monday night attack to an assassination attempt on former Singida East Member of Parliament Advocate Tundu Lissu by unknown gunmen in September 2017.
Just like Lissu, Mbowe was attacked near his home by armed men who had tailgated his car.
In the recent past, Mbowe has been arrested and charged by the Magufuli administration for protesting the stifling of opposition by the government.
Chadema has now called on Tanzanian Parliament and top government leadership to compel the authorities to explain the recent attacks on opposition leaders in the country.
“Kwamba Dodoma sio salama au salama kwa wapinzani sisi tunaendelea kutafakari tutaitolea kauli lakini katika hatua ya sasa Spika wa Bunge Tanzania na Serikali waeleze Watanzania ni kwa vipi matukio yanatokea Dodoma na yanatokea kwa wabunge wa upinzani, ” said Mnyika.