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Tanzania

Yearbook 2018

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.

2018 Tanzania

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 hostage.

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.

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