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Tanzania opposition figure freed after months in detention

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Tanzania opposition figure, Freeman Mbowe has been freed by a court after months of staying in detention.

Mbowe, the chairman of the main opposition party was facing prosecution alongside other party members but the state prosecutors have said they have no interest in pursuing charges against him.

Mr Mbowe was arrested in July 2021 in the north-western port city of Mwanza alongside other Chadema party members.

He was charged with terrorism-related offenses after his arrest ahead of a planned conference to demand constitutional reform.

State prosecutors at the time said the opposition leader and the 15 others were charged with two counts of “economic sabotage”.

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“These are signs that the dictatorship that existed during the rule of President John Magufuli continues,” Mbowe’s party said after his arrest last year.

This was the first major political arrest made four months after Tanzania’s first female President Samia Suluhu Hassan took office in March 2021 following the death of her predecessor John Magufuli.

Last month, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan met Chadema’s leader Tundu Lissu who is in exile in Belgium.

Lissu’s demand was for political prisoners to be freed and his security assured before returning home.

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