Tanzania’s main opposition party Chadema has revealed that its Chairman Freeman Mbowe, who was arrested last week, is sick and needs urgent medical attention.
Mbowe was taken into custody on the night of Tuesday, July 21, hours before presiding over a forum calling for constitutional reforms in the East African country.
In a statement sent out to newsrooms on Monday, Chadema said Mbowe’s family had confirmed that the politician had fallen sick at Oysterbay, in Dar es Salaam, where he is being held by police.
According to the party, despite the party boss pleading with the police to take him to hospital, the authorities were yet to take any action hours later.
🆘 ALERT #Tanzania
Head of opposition @freemanmbowetz is unwell in prison and needs medical attention – family has confirmed! @ChademaTz is calling on the government to provide him with necessary medical care which is every prisoner’s basic right!
Cc @AmnestyEARO @hrw @UN_HRC pic.twitter.com/2ZFrVJPpO1
— Maria Sarungi Tsehai (@MariaSTsehai) July 26, 2021
The party urged the authorities to provide Mbowe with necessary medical care as a matter of urgency.
The party leadership noted it had informed Mbowe’s lawyers of his predicament, further directing them to pay him a visit for further action.
“We want the police to take him to the hospital as quickly as possible because it is the right of the suspect to access medication as per the laws of Tanzania,” the party said.
Mbowe was among at least 12 leaders arrested last week amid calls from activists in the country for a new constitution.
Security forces reportedly broke down his hotel door and seized him at around 3am on Wednesday morning, hours before hosting the forum.
Mbowe was a fierce critic of the late President John Pombe Magufuli’s leadership and has since the Head of State’s death in March this year demanded that the new administration led by Samia Suluhu embrace democracy.
President Suluhu has come under heavy criticism over the arrest of Mbowe with some quarters likening her rule to that of Magufuli who couldn’t take criticism.