The US embassy in Tanzania has called for speedy investigation into a recent attack on opposition leader Freeman Mbowe that left him with serious injuries on Tuesday, June 9.
In a statement on Tuesday night, the embassy condemned the attack further calling for arrest and prosecution of people behind the “brutal and unprovoked attack” on the national chairman of the opposition party Chadema.
“The Embassy calls for an immediate, thorough, and impartial investigation, and for the rapid apprehension and prosecution of this assault’s perpetrators, ” the statement reads.
The embassy noted that the violent attack on Mbowe is not new in Tanzania but is only the “latest in a long series of disturbing acts of violence and harassment perpetrated against members of the opposition.”
The embassy put authorities on the spot over stalled investigation on an assassination attempt on former Singida East Member of Parliament Advocate Tundu Lissu by unknown gunmen in September 2017.
“…attempted murder of Member of Parliament and opposition leader Tundu Lissu remains unsolved and again urges the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of those responsible, ” the embassy said.
Mbowe was attacked while returning to his Dodoma home in what opposition leaders in the country termed as an attempt to silence him over his constant criticism on President John Pombe Magufuli’s administration ahead of the scheduled October General Election.
Mbowe has in the recent past accused Magufuli of hiding information on the Coronavirus situation in Tanzania.
Just like Lissu, who lives in self-imposed exile in Belgium after being shot severally, Mbowe was attacked near his home by armed men who had tailgated his car.
In a statement on Tuesday, Chadema Secretary-General John Mnyika said Mbowe suffered a serious injury on his right leg during the attack near his home.
Mnyika said Mbowe had 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, ” said Mnyika.
Chadema 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, ” Mnyika added.
“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.”