Mwanza — Police with guns and tear gas have surrounded and closed entrance and exit ways to the Tourist Hotel in Mwanza region at the Kitangiri area where the Katiba Mpya rally organized by Tanzania main opposition party Chadema, was going to take place today July 21, 2021.
To render the area impenetrable, the entrance to the hotel has also been isolated and fortified with a caution tape (scene barrier) to prevent people from gaining access while the road from Kona ya Bwiru to Kitangiri where the Tourist Hotel is situated is also closed by police vehicles.
Everyone using the path was questioned by the police before being allowed to pass through or asked to use another route.
The Citizen reporters arrived at the hotel and witnessed five police vehicles, including one used to carry suspects and prisoners known in Swahili as 'karandinga', parked outside and inside the hotel fence.
The act of police officers surrounding the hotel and blocking all access comes amid rumoured reports shared on social media claiming that Chadema national chairman, Freeman Mbowe and 10 other party leaders were arrested by the police.
When The Citizen tried to reach Mwanza Regional Police Commander, Ramadhani Nganzi by phone, he said he was at the mosque praying and could not comment at the time.
We also didn't receive any response to a text message sent to RPC Nganzi regarding the matter in question.
In other developments, Chadema Party Protocol, Communications and Foreign Affairs director, John Mrema issued a statement mentioning the leaders allegedly arrested by the Police to include: Chadema youth national wing (Bavicha) chairman John Pambalu, former Tarime Rural MP John Heche, and Chadema chairwoman for Njombe region, Rose Mayemba.
Others are a former lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Dr Azavery Lwaitama, Frank Novatus, Benjamini Kambarage who was mentioned as chairman of Bavicha in Kinondoni District and Bavicha Public Relations Officer, Apolinary Appolo.
Furthermore, others on the list are Steven Odiko, a driver mentioned by a single name as Seth and Bavicha chairman for Kinondoni, also mentioned by a single name as Masenya.
This article was written by Peter Saramba, Saada Amir and Mgongo Kaitira