Tanzania is not a police state: Kabudi

28 May 2019 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 28 MAY (NAMPA) – Despite reports of harassment of journalists and arrests of opposition leaders in Tanzania, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Palamagamba Kabudi has quashed insinuations that the country is a police state.
Questioned about the state of affairs in his country directed at him by local journalists at State House on Monday, Tanzania’s President, John Magufuli, said his foreign affairs minister was better placed to respond considering his legal background.
Kabudi said all reports to that effect were devoid of any truth and that when Magufuli took charge of the country, his immediate preoccupation was to tackle corruption and embezzlement of public funds.
“Stern action and zero tolerance were taken against corruption and indeed. We very much armoured that in the areas that most of you recognise that big progress has been done,” he said.
This move in itself earned Magufuli more foes than friends, the minister said.
“Definitely when you combat corruption at the highest level, you create a lot of enemies, especially those who were benefiting from corruption and this is why we are not surprised that there is a negative perception that Tanzania is a police state; that Tanzania represses freedom,” Kabudi said.
The minister added that they are not surprised by the narrative.
“We knew that having done a lot in education, health, typical of Western propaganda, they must find a folly so that Magufuli looks like any other African president whom they have in their might,” he said.
He went further: “Tanzania enjoys the highest level of press freedom and we invite you to come and witness it, even at our cost.”
Agence France-Presse (AFP) has reported that Tanzania's opposition parties have declared that they would join forces in a campaign against the 'dictatorship' of President Magufuli.
“We declare the year 2019 will be the year in which we fight for democracy, the year in which we fight to recover our rights, which have been trampled upon in breach of the law and the constitution,” the political formations said in a joint statement.
Magufuli is in Namibia on a two-day working visit, which started Monday.