Magufuli pays fine for opposition politician

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has paid the fine of one of a group of opposition leaders so he could be freed from jail.

President Magufuli paid over $16,500 (£13,000) for Peter Msigwa, one of nine Chadema politicians who were sentenced to pay over $150,000 in total or go to jail for five months.

Mr Msigwa was supposed to pay over $17,000. The rest was matched by his relatives.

Earlier, three other politicians from the Chadema party were released from jail after supporters raised money to pay their fine.

The Chadema party tweeted a video of people celebrating and singing in Swahili that the community have paid and the three have left [jail].

News of President Magufuli’s payment has surprised many on social media, with many calling for Chadema to refuse the payments.

“Tell him [President Magufuli] we have already paid for him,” wrote Twitter user Rich Mwanisanzule.

The nine politicians were convicted on Monday of organising an illegal rally.

At the event in 2018, a female student was killed when police fired shots to disperse the crowd.

Rights groups say there has been a campaign to “criminalise” the opposition under President John Magufuli’s leadership. -BBC

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