Tanzania. According to
Countryaah.com, President John Magufuli and the CCM
(Revolutionary Party) government were accused by the
opposition of dictatorial methods and restrictions on
democracy, freedom of speech and human rights. Opposition
meetings were banned, newspapers were closed and journalists
and artists were beaten or threatened with life for
criticism by the government.
In February, a leader of the opposition party Chadema was
kidnapped and murdered in Dar es-Salaam, and a leader of the
Chadema was killed in the central part of the country. The
opposition accused CCM of being behind both murders.
At a protest in Dar es-Salaam led by the opposition, the
police used tear gas and opened fire to disperse protesters.
A bullet met a female student sitting on a bus and not
taking part in the protest. The opposition accused the
police of her death.
Over a hundred organizations and action groups wrote a
protest against what they saw as a legal violation without
equal in the country's history. Tanzania's Catholic bishops
warned in an open letter that the community atmosphere
favored fragmentation and hatred and could threaten peace
and people's lives.
One of the opposition party members of Chada's parliament
was sentenced to prison for defaming President Magufuli. In
Dodoma, the police chief threatened to break the legs of
those who went out to demonstrate since police arrested two
people accused of calling for nationwide protests.
In March, Chadas party leader Freeman Mbowe was charged
with incitement to hatred and rebellion. The charge involved
the demonstration when the student was killed, a protest
that was said to be without permission.
The government introduced strict rules for social media.
Bloggers and YouTube channel owners must register as a
company and be charged high fees. Reporters Without Borders
accused President Magufuli of seeking silent critics online.
In August, a 13-year-old schoolboy died after being
beaten by his teacher. The boy was charged with theft. The
tragedy aroused protests in the country demanding that the
law be changed to prohibit school discipline.
Women in Tanzania give birth to more than five children
on average, but President Magufuli urged women to stop
taking birth control pills so that the country gets more
residents. He felt that those who use contraception are lazy
and do not want to support a large family.
At least 224 people were killed in a disaster in Lake
Victoria in September, when an overloaded passenger ferry
swerved and fell. The ferry was built for 100 people but had
265 people on board according to authorities.
After two parliamentary elections in September, the
opposition party Chadema decided to boycott elections so
far, as it was considered that the government militarized
the electoral process. Many militaries were deployed at the
polling stations, few voters voted and Chadmare
representatives had been harassed and arrested according to
the party leader, who claimed that democracy had been taken
In October, police said they arrested more than 100
suspected Islamist extremists in southern Tanzania who
planned to set up a base in neighboring Mozambique.
Dar es-Salaam Governor Paul Makonda in October called on
the public to name people suspected of being gay. Thousands
of people were identified, and LGBT people lived in terror
and were forced to hide. Tanzania was internationally
condemned for the persecution of homosexuals, including by
the UN and Amnesty International. The government said
Makonda's statements were his personal views and not the
country's official attitude. However, Makonda was allied
with President Magufuli, and since he took office, the
attitude towards gays has hardened in the country.
International lenders halted loans and assistance to
Tanzania in November in protest of the persecution of LGBTQs
and the Magufuli regime's authoritarian policies. The World
Bank also held large loans, partly because of the
government's ban on pregnant students to attend school.
A dispute over the prices of cashew nuts led to the
cessation of purchases of the country's important export
goods. President Magufuli dismissed the Minister of
Agriculture and Commerce and ordered the army to buy up the
entire country's harvest and transport it to state
warehouses in military vehicles.
Chadas party leader Freeman Mbowe was arrested in
November in a court of law after he twice failed to appear
from the February indictment. Another opposition politician
was also arrested along with Mbowe.