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Tanzanian opposition leader beaten, hospitalised

June 9, 2020 03:35 PM


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The chairman of Tanzania's main opposition party, Freeman Mbowe, has been hospitalised after being attacked and injured by unknown assailants, police and party officials said Tuesday.      

"There are reports that Mr Mbowe was attacked by three people who broke his right leg. We continue to follow the case," Regional Police Commander Gilles Muroto told local media, adding: "He is still in hospital."

Mbowe was set upon late Monday as he returned home in the capital Dodoma, his party, Chadema, said in a statement posted on its official Twitter account.

"This is a politically motivated attack. Our priority now is his health," Chadema official John Mnyika told local media.

Mbowe has repeatedly accused the government of covering up the true extent of the coronavirus in Tanzania, where authorities stopped updating figures in April.

Mbowe and several other opposition MPs were briefly jailed in March in connection with a banned protest against President John Magufuli's government, which has been accused of crushing dissent and harassing political opponents.

The strongman leader, who was elected in 2015, is due to run for a second term in October in a country once seen as a bastion of democracy in a tumultuous part of East Africa.

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