Dar drops terror charges against main opposition party Chairman

The case was to come up for mention today

FRIDAY March 4, 2022

By Tranquility News Reporter, Tanzania

Leader of Tanzania’s main opposition party Freeman Mbowe and three others have been set free from terrorism charges they were facing at court.

The office of the country’s Director of Public Prosecution issued a formal notice — nolle prosequi— on Friday March 4, 2022, to the Corruption and Economic Crimes Division of the Tanzania High Court, abandoning all charges of the suit.

The DPP decision comes few days after religious leaders asked the government to consider releasing Mbowe. Many have commended the DPP decision, saying it would go a long way in building harmony in the country.

“Today’s dismissal of the case against Freeman Mbowe is a welcome opportunity for Tanzania to turn the page and focus on the future. Now let’s work together to seize the immense opportunities that exist, and build a future of peace, prosperity, and freedom for all,” Mr Donald Wright, the US envoy to Tanzania, tweeted.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania Karagwe Docese Bishop Benson Bagonza, nonetheless, said Mbowe was not free, he was rather outside the prison, citing remarks of the country’s Father of the Nation Mwalimu Julius Nyerere after the release of Nelson Mandela in February 1990.

Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) national Chairman Freeman Mbowe attends appears in court for a session. PHOTO | ALJAZEERA

“He came to Tanzania to thank us, we lined up along the roads chanting and waving banners that said Mandela is Free, but Nyerere said Mandela was not free, he was out of prison,” he recalls.

Bishop Bagonza said Tanzanians should not jubilate, as Mbowe was just out of the prison in which he spent eight months. As long as the law that sent him to jail was still in place, he was not free yet.

“Jubilate modestly, improve thoughts and strategies of making Tanzania to become a place where justice and peace kiss each other,” he quipped, as he sympathised with Mbowe and congratulated President Samina for her administration clocking one year.

Mbowe, Justine Kaaya, Khalid Athuman and Gabriel Mhina were behind bar since July last year in a case the main opposition party claims to be a politically-motivated move aimed at silencing dissent.

Others recently joined in the economic case number 63/2020 were Halfan Hassan, Adam Kasekwa alias Adamo and Mohamed Ling’wenya.

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan meets Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) national Vice Chairman Tundu Lissu in Brussels. Lissu has been in exile in Belgium for three years now following an attempt to assassinate him back home. PHOTO | PAN AFRICA VISION

Mbowe was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit terrorism and financing the vice between May and August 2020 at Aishi Hotel in Moshi Municipality situated on the foots of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Others were all charged with leading a criminal gang at the hotel and in Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Arusha regions during the same period.

They had allegedly set up explosives to blow up various fuel stations and rallies in a bid to distabilise the country politically and economically. They were also accused of participating in meetings meant for arranging terrorist strategies.

Kaswekwa was charged with illegally possessing 3.18 grams of heroine, a pistol and explosives at Rau Madukani in Moshi District, Kilimanjaro Region, on August 5, 2020.

While Ling’wenya was also charged with illegally possessing 1.06 grams of heroine, Hassan was accused of putting on military uniforms in Temeke Municipality of the Dar es Salaam commercial city on August 10, 2020Ω


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