Tanzanian police carried out a raid on Tuesday night on the headquarters of an opposition party which recently criticised the state of the economy under President John Magufuli.
“The police have just ended a raid on the headquarters of the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT) Wazalendo,” read a statement from the party.
The party, whose leader Zitto Kabwe is fiercely critical of the government and has been arrested three times since main opposition chief Tundu Lissu of the Chadema party was shot and wounded in September, said police had seized a laptop, a flashdrive and a recent press statement.
The statement, issued on October 12, had criticised “the bad state of the economy, the deterioration of security and the narrowing of the democratic environment.”
Police also seized a second statement entitled: “Evidence of the deterioration of the national economy.”
After the publication of the two statements, Magufuli had accused the party of deliberately minimising his economic achievements and asked prosecutors to go after those publishing information contrary to official statistics.
The entire central committee of the ACT Wazalendo party was on Monday summoned to present themselves to police, however it only sent its top leaders who were released after questioning.
Since his October 2016 election Magufuli has shut down newspapers, banned opposition rallies, switched off live broadcasts of parliamentary sessions and used a draconian “cyber crimes” law to jail critics.
Main opposition party leader Lissu has accused the government of being behind an attack in which he was shot and wounded, requiring 17 operations in a Nairobi hospital.
Lissu had had a series of run-ins with the government and has been arrested at least six times this year, accused of insulting the president and disturbing public order, among other charges.