7 August 2017

Tanzania: Tarime Rural MP Remanded As Matiko Summoned for Questioning

Tarime — The Member of Parliament for Tarime Rural, John Heche, reported to the Tarime Main Police Station on Monday at 10am in response to police directives after he was arrested on Friday and held there for six hours before he was released on bail.

The MP (Chadema) was held, but refused to give a statement, whereby police seized all of his phones and wanted him to return to the police station on Sunday. However, it was not possible because he went to test his health status.

It is reported that Heche was arrested after it was claimed that he recently, at Sirari Town, asked the government to allow residents to cultivate marijuana, which is an illicit crop as its cultivation contravenes the country's laws.

It was also claimed that the Tarime Rural MP instigated residents to storm the Acacia North Mara mine when he was in Dodoma during a Bunge session because the mining company had refused to pay land and house compensations to the residents, who paved the way for gold mining activities.

Tarime/Rorya Police Commander Henry Mwaibambe said they had reached the decision of holding Heche so that they could have ample time to question him, although the former did not specify a time frame to complete the questioning.

"We need to have ample time to query the MP so that we can get a sufficient statement from him as you know questioning is not a simple matter. So, you will know when we finish the questioning," said Mwaibambe.

Meanwhile, the Tarime Urban MP (Chadema), Ester Matiko, was summoned on Monday by the police for questioning. However, she could not be reached for comment over her police summons.

The Chadema Chairman in Tarime District, Lucas Ngoto, said they were waiting to know what really went wrong in both of the matters so that they could know what the way forward was.

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