Zanzibar police ban opposition rally, cites terror threat

The opposition withdrew from the assembly writing a new constitution and vowed public rallies against the drat

Zanzibar police ban opposition rally, cites terror threat

World Bulletin/News Desk

Police in Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, on Saturday banned a public rally by the opposition against the draft constitution, citing terrorist threats.

"We don't have problems with opposition here," Zanzibar police spokesperson Mohamed Mhina told Anadolu Agency by phone.

"According to our intelligence-based information, a terrorist group had threatened state security so it was not safe for any rally," he said.

"We are dealing with the threat, when the situation settles we can allow them," added Mhina without giving more details.

The Coalition of Defenders of the People’s Constitution (UKAWA) had planned a public rally in Zanzibar as part of a campaign against the draft constitution.

"We have more time to prepare more big rallies," a defiant UKAWA chairman Prof. Ibrahim Lipumba told AA.

"We will not depend much on police," he said.

Freeman Mbowe, the head of the opposition parliamentary bloc, said fighting for democracy is not an easy task.

"Fighting for the rights of the people…needs sacrifice and we are ready until people get the type of constitution they need," he told AA.

The opposition walked out of a Constituent Assembly (CA) session on Wednesday and announced boycotting the commission tasked with writing the country's new constitution.

The opposition said the draft charter foments discrimination on the basis of origin and poses a threat to the unity of Tanzania.

The assembly was formed by President Jakaya Kikwete in January and comprises 640 members representing various segments of the Tanzanian society.

Last Mod: 20 Nisan 2014, 00:45
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