Tanzania jails politician

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

DODOMA (AFP) - A Tanzanian opposition leader, Christopher Mtikila, and three of his supporters have each been sentenced to a nine-month jail term for holding an illegal political rally.

Mr Mtikila, leader of the unregistered Democractic Party and the three supporters were arrested two weeks ago and charged with holding an unlicensed political rally and using abusive language in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha last month.

Abubakar Rashid Msangi, Winston Amusisie and Ernest Wingambuli were jailed for attending the meeting. They had all denied the charges amd Mr Mtikila said he would appeal against the verdict.

Tanzania announced democratic reforms in February after years of one-party rule under the socialist former president Julius Nyerere and his hand-picked successor, President Ali Hassan Mwinyi. Six opposition parties were officially sanctioned yesterday.

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