Tanzania opposition leader Zitto Kabwe has been freed on bail after he and several members of his party were arrested as they held an internal meeting in southern Kilwa district.
The release on Wednesday came after Kabwe and the others were taken into police custody the previous day for holding an unlawful assembly, according to his ACT Wazalendo party, which accused the government of repression before a presidential election in October.
“We welcome the release of Zitto Kabwe and fellow ACT Wazalendo members earlier today,” said Seif Sharif Hamad, the party’s chair.
“We now call for the charges to be dropped completely. Yesterday’s arrests were unlawful and an attempt to disrupt the legitimate actions of a political party.”
President John Magufuli, who is expected to run for a second term, dissolved parliament last week in advance of the election. The vote is scheduled for October, but the precise date has not yet been set.
The dissolution came days after Freeman Mbowe – another opposition leader who has announced his intention to run against Magufuli – was allegedly beaten and hospitalised in what his Chadema party said was a “politically-motivated” attack.