Friday, October 30, 2015

Over 190 arrested for violence in Mbeya

Mbeya: Police in Mbeya Region have arrested 196 people on suspicion of involvement in acts of violence and damage of various properties belonging to Rungwe and Mbozi District Councils, as vote counting was still underway.

Mbeya Regional Police Commander (RPC), Ahmed Msangi told journalists that 158 suspects were arrested in Rungwe District and the remaining 38 were arrested in Mbozi District on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Msangi explained that as the exercise of counting votes went on in Rungwe tallying centre, supporters of some political parties gathered outside the building of the district council and started singing offensive songs against certain aspirants, police officers and the District Executive Director (DED).

“They began to act violently by attacking the police with stones, empty bottles and sticks to pressurize the announcement of election results,” he said.

Following the violence, police used tear gases to disperse the crowd who ran away to various areas and damaged properties of residents of the areas, breaking into shops and looting and burning car tyres to block roads.

Due to the violence, police officers and soldiers from Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) conducted a special operation in various streets and arrested 158 people in connection with the incidents.

He said the suspects have already appeared in court and that investigations into the matter are on-going to arrest other remaining suspects.

The damaged properties include three vehicles were burnt, the office of the Ward Executive Officer and a motorcycle.

“They also burnt Chama Cha Mapinduzi offices in Mlowo and Vuawa areas and injured six police officers by stoning them,” he said.
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