Post-electoral repression in Tanzania


Opposition presidential candidate Tundu Lissu was arrested Nov. 2, two days after disputed presidential elections in Tanzania. Incumbent John Magufuli won the election by a landslide according to official results following a contest dismissed by the opposition as a “travesty” because of widespread irregularities. Lissu joins a growing list of opposition leaders who have been rounded up since the results came in, as authorities move to head off post-election demonstrations. Lissu’s center-right Chadema party and the left-wing ACT Wazalendo have jointly issued a call for people to take to the streets and demand fresh polls. They accuse Magufuli and his long-ruling Revolutionary Party, or Chama Cha Mapinduzi, of seeking to establish a “one-party system.” (Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, AllAfrica, Africa News, NYT)

Map: Perry-Castañeda Library

  1. Tanzania opposition leader charged with terrorism

    Tanzanian opposition leader Freeman Mbowe was charged with terrorism on July 26. Mbowe, the chairman of Chama Cha Demokrasia Na Maedeleo (Chadema), was arrested days earlier along with 10 other party officials. (Jurist)

  2. Another newspaper shut in Tanzania

    Tanzania suspended another newspaper accused of false stories even though President Samia Suluhu Hassan had pledged to uphold media freedoms quashed by her predecessor. Raia Mwema, a leading Swahili-language weekly, was suspended for 30 days, for “repeatedly publishing false information and deliberate incitement.”

    Last month, the government suspended Uhuru newspaper, owned by the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party, for publishing what it called a false story saying Hassan would not vie for office in 2025. (Reuters)

    Hassan assumed the presidency after the death of John Magufuli from COVID-19 in March. (BBC News)

  3. Tanzania opposition leader arrested —again

    Tanzanian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Tundu Lissu was released on bail Sept. 10 after being arrested by the Karatu District Police in his hotel room for holding an illegal gathering and obstructing police duties. According to the police statement, Lissu was held for interrogation before being released. Since returning from exile earlier this year after a 2017 assassination attempt, Lissu has hosted multiple political rallies. (Jurist)