Tanzanian police briefly detain opposition candidate Halima Mdee

Supporters of Chadema celebrate outside a polling station in Dar es Salaam after the National Electoral Commission declared Halima Mdee winner of the Kawe parliamentary seat on October 27, 2015. Ms Mdee was arrested this morning just before voting began in Tanzania.

Photo credit: File | AFP

Dar es Salaam. Tanzanian opposition party Chadema on Wednesday said its parliamentary candidate for Kawe in Dar es Salaam, Ms Halima Mdee, was placed in police custody just hours after polling started.

Ms Mdee, also the chairperson for the party's women's wing, known by its acronym Bawacha, has been the MP for Kawe for two five-year consecutive terms.

She was later released from Kawe Police Station. This was confirmed by Kinondoni Regional Police Commander Edward Bukombe, who said Ms Mdee was arrested by the police for questioning.

Speaking to Mwananchi Digital, the official said there had been an altercation and police decided to take her in for questioning, adding that she had been released and was continuing with her duties.

Chadema MPs Halima Mdee (right), Ester Matiko (left) and Ester Bulaya (centre) acknowledge their supporters as they attend a press conference after being released from Segerea prison in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 12, 2020.

Photo credit: File | AFP

Questioned votes 

However, the candidate's secretary, Ms Rose Moshi, had claimed that Ms Mdee was arrested after questioning why votes had been cast before agents arrived at Tarafani Kawe polling station.

She said Ms Mdee found herself in trouble with law enforcers when she questioned the legitimacy of some votes that had been cast by the time she visited the polling station.

Ms Moshi further claimed that in Kawe, all Chadema agents were denied entry into polling stations over claims that they did not possess introductory letters from the returning officer.

Ms Mdee is defending her seat against preacher Josephat Gwajima, vying on the ruling CCM ticket.

Report by Ephraim Bahemu

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