Tanzanian authorities have intensified a clampdown on opposition parties and media organizations ahead of nationwide voting on October 28, according to Amnesty International.
"Tanzania has come with repressive and unconstitutional laws," Roland Ebole, a researcher at Amnesty, said during a webinar to launch the report. "Every other month there are new laws, and you don't know when you are breaking the law."
President John Magufuli’s government is thwarting opposition politicians' campaign efforts by selectively applying the law ahead of national elections later this month, Amnesty International said.
Opposition leaders were facing harrassment, arbitary arrest and intimidation from authorities, whereas the ruling party was allowed to campaign free and unhindered.
Initially lauded for his bold anti-corruption statements, economic development, and infrastructure plans, Magufuli's autocratic style has turned him into an uncompromising leader and intolerant of any dissent. Magufuli's administration passed a raft of repressive legislation exerting an alarming level of control over the country's politics and society, according to Amnesty.
New regulations seek to limit international media coverage of Tanzania's elections. For instance, foreign journalists must now be accompanied by a government minder, and political parties have been warned that meeting foreign diplomats may violate laws governing political parties.