Shaweji Mketo, deputy director for organisation and elections for Tanzania's Civic United Front (CUF), alleged Friday (July 19th) that he and five other party members had been tortured in police custody, Tanzania's The Guardian reported.
Mketo spoke after spending 20 days in custody with colleagues Ismail Bakari Njalu, Salum Hamis Mohamed, Ismail Hamis Jamal, Said Issa Kulagwa and Kashinde Juma Kalumbwana.
Mketo said they were arrested June 28th while trying to investigate the case of a girl allegedly raped by police. He said police offered the girl money so that she would leave without talking to the CUF member.
"My goal was to help the girl so that she could get a legal hearing as well as bringing to task those who sexually assaulted her, but instead the police turned against us," Mketo said.
CUF Chairman Ibrahim Lipumba condemned the arrest and torture of his party's members, calling it unconstitutional. He called on President Jakaya Kikwete to intervene and condemn such heavy-handed police behaviour.
Last month, Tanzanian police banned a CUF procession planned to draw attention to alleged violence from police and the Tanzania People's Defence Force against citizens.