Citing a potential for violent clashes, police in Dar have banned a proposed rally by ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s (CCM) youth organization.
The youth organization had planned to rally in Dar es Salaam today (February 5) to commemorate 38th anniversary of CCM.
This follows widespread concerns of brutality against opposition parties in advance of elections after Civic United Front (CUF) beat and arrested 30 CUF members for illegal assembly and incitement last week.
Home Affairs Minister Mathias Chikawe had defended police actions, citing a terror threat which left police with no other options but forcefully remove the opposition members who were attempting to hold an illegal march in memory of the 21 people killed in Zanzibar post-election violence in 2001.
Earlier this week, President Jakaya Kikwete also spoke out in support of the police force.
“There are rules governing demonstrations in this country,” Kikwete stated at a press conference with visiting German Federal President Joachim Gauck.
“You need to secure police permission first — you can’t just wake up and demonstrate. If you follow the rules nothing will happen to you, but if you don’t you will be booked.”
Kikwete also pointed out that the opposition holds more legal rallies than ruling CCM.