After spending more than seven months in police custody in jail, Tanzania’s opposition leader Freeman Mbowe is finally released.
This marks a significant turn in the politics of Tanzania, which is the oppressive regime of Samia Suluhu. Now after wasting a lot of time of the judiciary of the country, the prosecutor has decided to drop the terrorism charges against Mbowe.
Experts believe that this could help opposition political parties of the country to gain momentum in the tense environment where the ruling party was established as an unquestionable authority on matters of public interest.
Samia Suluhu is Learning her Lessons Slowly
Tanzania President Samia Suluhu seems to learn her lesson, albeit quite slowly. Once she took over the presidency after the downfall of Tanzania’s former president John Magifuli, she went down the road of oppression.
Even though she showed some progress during her initial times of presidency, however, most of it turned out to be an eye-washer as she started oppressing the opposition.
Now she has learned the lesson that going this route will not help her as it would eventually help opposition parties win the vote of sympathy.
International media proved to be a nightmare for Samia Suluhu. She did not expect that she would face staunch opposition from the international community, but this was not the case.
Tanzania diaspora in the United States protested outside the United Nations headquarters in New York when she was delivering her maiden speech full of lies in the United Nations General Assembly.
Likewise, international diplomats met Freeman Mbowe during his stay at the jail, which brought the case to international media outlets.
Samia Suluhu Admission of Guilt: Did She Just Accept her Failure?
Right after his release, Samai Suluhu met with Freeman Mbowe. During this meeting, she emphasized that it is time for everyone to “join hands” and work for the better of the country. A statement released from her office stated,
“President Samia emphasized the need to join hands to build the nation, through trust and respect built on the foundations of justice.”
(Statement from Samia Suluhu Office)
Her own statement is full of admission of guilt which depicts that she exceeded her authority on the matter just to oppress political opposition.
She stated that it is time to “join hands” for nation-building. It means that she was not doing initially and did not try nation-building during the first year of the president.
Instead, she tried to put falsified allegations on the opposition parties, which forced her to launch a fake terrorism case against the opposition leader.
Secondly, she stated that all of this has to be done by building foundations of justice. It means that now she is emphasizing establishing justice at a time when she herself ignored it and when justice had no place under her regime.
Media Outlets Ban Uplift: Samia Suluhu Making a Sharp U-Turn
Right after coming to power, Samia Suluhu also banned many media outlets and newspapers, which helped her to curb the freedom of speech which is critical to safeguard democracy in any society. However, now she has lifted the ban on four newspapers.
This suggests that she realizes her mistake of walking the oppressive path and now she is trying to rectify it. Although the damage has already been done as she continuously curbed free expression and media, the remedy can happen even now.
If she really wants opposition and free media to thrive, she must not bound them with sanctions anymore. This could only be done by giving them the opportunity to report freely, even at a time when these same media outlets expose the barbaric ambitions of Samia’s government.
America’s Role in Bringing Samia’s Oppressive Regime to Justice
It is also a time for the international community to measure the extent up to which the Tanzanian government is exploiting the state institutions.
The US ambassador to Tanzania Donald Wright stated,
“Today’s dismissal of the case against Freeman Mbowe is a welcome opportunity for Tanzania to turn the page and focus on the future.”
(US ambassador to Tanzania Donald Wright )
This means that the United States government also acknowledges the flawed system of the country and is currently aiming that the Eastern African nation comes back to the track.
However, this statement should be followed up by practical actions, and Samia’s government should be pushed hard to ensure that it does not commit any human rights violations again.
If the US fails to do that, it would not only encourage Samia’s regime to perpetuate further disparities but also kill opposition voices further in time.
The state prosecutor dropped charges against Chadema’s Mbowe, which also signifies how deeply flawed is the political and judicial setup of the country.
Would the government now be tried for wasting the time of the judiciary when the backlog is already mounting and an average Tanzania is gasping for justice?
Isn’t it the abuse of power that the government prosecuted the opposition leader only as long as it wanted him to be tried?
What about the seven months time frame when Tanzania’s President ruled without facing any solid opposition? All of these questions demand an in-depth analysis.
Only then the state institutions of the country would be straightened, which will make the life of an average Tanzanian better.
Otherwise, this would also be just an eye washer move of Samia Suluhu as she tries to be in the good books of people ahead of the 2025 presidential elections.