Tanzania: Freeman Mbowe went from the Pen to visit the State House

A NEW CHAPTER. Suluhu Samia has met and held talks with Freeman Mbowe hours after his release. Mbowe called for political tolerance, mutual party respect, peace, unity and democracy. He assured the President of full support from Chadema on achieving common goals” (The Citizen Tanzania, 04.03.2022).

On the 2nd November 2020 was the time Freeman Mbowe and other leaders of the CHADEMA party was arrested. He and his fellow party associates had planned to blow up petrol-stations. That was what SACP Lazaro Mambosasa said to the press that day.

While Mbowe has been behind bars since 21st July 2021. This means he has had more than 200 days behind bars, which the state suddenly dropped the case or the charges on him. He wasn’t alone to be arrested and other in the same case was released as well. This is a good step of the state. However, Mbowe and the others shouldn’t have been in prison in the first place.

Freeman Mbowe had no reasons to be a felon, a criminal or be a jailbird. Neither should anyone else for their political affiliation or will to want to reform or have a referendum on the Constitution. Which was the main reason for the arrests, charges and total rampage the state served the opposition in the United Republic at one point.

That the charges was dropped today and released hours later. In addition, getting an invitation and talking with the President is something else. He went from being a “terrorist” into a viable political leader, which could talk and have dialogue with the Head of State. That is really showing changes, but also the openness of CHADEMA in Tanzania.

Freeman could have been defiant and reluctant. As the state has targeted him and made him a political prisoner. A prisoner of conscience … and all he tried to do. Was to hold meetings and conferences internally in the CHADEMA party to talk of reforming the Constitution. That was “illegal” and reasons for his now extensive criminal record.

He happens to be the party president of the biggest opposition party. The Presidential Candidate of the Party is still in exile. The President held talks with him Tundu Lissu last month. So, she has now talked to the both of them. Which has given people hope, but also shows signs of moderation from a former hostile government.

To see Mbowe in the State House is positive. It is symbolic … and it is a publicity scoop for the President. While it is hectic to defend a former “terrorist” suddenly in the chambers of power. However, we know the charges and the reasoning for it was bogus. It was charges taken out of thin-air and excuses to hold him captive. Nevertheless, today was a good day. Though I don’t expect much out of it. Peace.

Tanzania: Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) – Economic Case No. 16. of 2021 – Nolle Prosequi (04.03.2022)

Tanzania: A handshake of hope or despair?

Yesterday in Brussels was an unique day after a hostile election and aftermath, which the opposition has been in distress. Where the political parties haven’t been allowed to organize or even being viable. As the state has targeted CHADEMA and ACT-Wazelendo after the elections, which late President Joseph Magaufuli won.

Now, his successor President Samia Suluhu Hassan has met with the main Opposition Presidential Candidate Tundu Lissu who fled for exile after the election in 2020. It was clear to him that there was no relief or chances for a peaceful living after the polls. The Chama Cha Mapundzi (CCM) is overbearing and controlling the political space. Therefore, the ruling regime has it’s hands everywhere. That is obvious and the brutal truth in the United Republic of Tanzania.

The handshake is either a token of hope for reconciliation or creating a false belief of an open space. As the political leaders are talking and the possible negotiations. Since CHADEMA leaders are behind bars and so other political activists too. The state has used the law and the security agencies to target and silence it’s critics. That’s why even the talk of amending or changing the constitution has been deemed as a violation and reason to charge political leaders.

It is not like the era of freedom of speech or liberty to speak is at an all time high. The political parties are monitored, media is muffled and the state has their hands into everything. There is nothing they are not looking into and the political parties cannot operate without a go-sign from the government to have conferences or gatherings. Therefore, the CCM is the paternalistic organization, which deems everyone fit or unfit to whatever they propose.

The handshake and the pictures are a symbol of hope. While the laws, the strict affairs in Tanzania haven’t changed anything. The security agencies and the police will still hassle or go after the ones who dares to challenge the President. That’s why she has even suspended party press, which went out with news that it didn’t deem right.

I’m taking the news with caution. It’s too early to celebrate… when you know how the authorities has gone after dissidents, political leaders and journalists in the recent years. Tundu Lissu knows all of this and he cannot give way yet. If so… his selling the causes early and without proof of changing attitudes.

The laws are still the same and the authorities haven’t lost it’s spark. The President and the CCM needs to extend and olive branch, which it did in Brussels. However, it has to make a significant change in the United Republic to really matter. As there are victims of the political power-play and the usage of law, which isn’t only Freeman Mbowe, but his the symbol of the oppression in the Republic.

President Samia has to prove it now. It’s in her court and she has to open up. That will be painful and has to drop the guards down. However, Lissu shouldn’t sell himself short. Since he has paid the price to stand up against this government.

A handshake should never be enough, but it’s a nice symbol to buy time for possible change. Peace.

Tanzania: State House – President Samia Woos French Investors – Says Tanzania is Open for Business (14.02.2022)

Tanzania: Alliance for Change for Transparency (ACT Wazalendo) – Stakeholders meeting on political situation in Tanzania 15th – 17th December 2021 (14.12.2021)

Tanzania: CHADEMA – Public Announcement (30.11.2021)

Opinion: When did Tony Blair become a publicity guru? [Tanzania doesn’t need him]

It is now official that former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair will rebuild the United Republic of Tanzania’s International Reputation. He is now hired as a spokesperson and his Institute will handle it internationally. However, has even been able to save his own reputation?

Tony Blair isn’t a saint and neither a man of character which you should trust. Blair is lucky that haven’t been charged and taken to the Hague. The Chilcot Report haven’t had any consequences and this man is now a trustworthy man? Seriously? His a warlord who went into war without the proof and evidence, which he claimed they had. He participated and ensured a Iraqi conflict for personal gains and for the imperial goals of USA and UK. Therefore, Blair isn’t the guy to trust. Even if his selling that.

Chama Cha Mapundzi (CCM) and President Samia Suluhu Hassan hiring Blair is nonsense. The Tanzanian government should stop with the political crackdown and silencing of critics. If the state didn’t do that and acted as a sincere government. Than they wouldn’t need to hire a despicable character like Blair. It is weird that CCM wants to spend funds and feeding an imperialist like him.

The reputation created by the CCM has been self-inflicted. The government should use phony charges on opposition leaders and keep them detained indefinitely. Neither should the government suspend papers for writing critical pieces. If not suspend papers for leaking probable future Presidential Candidature of herself. So, if the state wants to look better. Don’t arrest comedians and journalists. Also, don’t kidnap activists and silence the opposition who wants to question the current constitution.

Maybe, the CCM should try to act sincere and holier than thou. I know that is too much to ask. Since, opposition leaders who dares to question the powers to be… is criminals and treasonous. If not they are automatically terrorists. That’s why the ones questioning the state gets into legal jeopardy, frozen bank-accounts and not allowed to the community again. They are lingering in jail and awaiting freedom.

So, if the state wanted another reputation. Maybe, just maybe… don’t do that and allow the opposition and activists to gather, organize and be viable parties in the United Republic. The CCM isn’t willing to do that. However, they are instead willing to pay and hire an British hack to save the PR abroad. Nevertheless, people like me will address the truth. Maybe, the CCM and the state shouldn’t try to assassinate Tundu Lissu either. However, they are not taking responsibility for that and the reasons for his continued exile.

The CCM should look into itself and its actions. We know they won’t do it… because they doesn’t have the courage or heart to do so. They could easily make positive headlines and create a better reputation. That they could do without Blair and his Institute. He will get a huge pay-check and easily enjoy the perks of it. While Tanzania will still look bad, because the truth will come out. Even if Blair is able to write some random propaganda ala Weapons of Mass Destruction before the Iraqi war. Therefore, why trust this man to save you? He cannot even save his own reputation?

It would be better to get Taylor Swift singing about Reputation and have the new President dancing to it. That would go viral and be a fun moment. However, that would never gloss over the crackdown on opposition, which is currently done in the Republic. Peace.

Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC): Statement Condemning Arbitrary Arrest and Detention of Cartoonist Optatus Fwema (04.10.2021)

Tanzania: Bawacha – Bawacha condems police harrasment of its members (19.09.2021)

Tanzania: CHADEMA – Public Announcement (04.09.2021)

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