Tanzania Frees Opposition Leader Mbowe

    Photo: Reuters

    The Facts

    • After seven months under arrest, Tanzanian opposition leader Freeman Mbowe was released on Friday and had charges of terrorism financing and conspiracy against him dropped.

    • The chair of Chadema was arrested in July 2021, just hours before a New Constitution forum he had organized to debate democratic reforms.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The case against Mbowe illustrates the fragility of the rule of law in Tanzania. Currently, innocent people can be arrested and detained without evidence and charges can be dropped at any stage without reason. Tanzania's justice system must be reformed.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    President Samia Hassan's leadership is uniting the country by making conciliatory overtures to the opposition, in stark contrast to her predecessor, John Magufuli. She has already met with the recently freed politician in order to strengthen trust and mutual respect, signs of a healthy democracy and of nation building.

    Establishment split



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