Tanzania police threaten to beat protesters "like stray dogs" to halt demos

Magufuli has increasingly been accused of dictatorial use of his executive powers.

The banned protests, organized by U.S-based Tanzanian activist Mange Kimambi, coincided with 54th anniversary of Union Day celebrations.

Police threatened a robust response to any demonstrations against President John Magufuli.

“Those who plan to demonstrate tomorrow will seriously suffer ... they will be beaten like stray dogs,” Gilles Muroto, police chief in Tanzania’s administrative capital Dodoma told journalists on Wednesday.

Seven people were arrested on Tuesday for their alleged role in planning the country-wide protests.

Criticism

Kimambi, who describes herself as a "democracy activist," said she fears being harmed by the authorities if she returns to Tanzania because of her criticism of the authorities

She is rallying Tanzanians via Instagram, Twitter and Telegram chat groups to take to the streets on Apr. 26 to demand Magufuli's ouster after previous demonstrations called by the main opposition CHADEMA party in 2016 were called off.

The US embassy in Tanzania has issued an alert over the possibility of an outbreak of violent demonstrations, warning its citizens to keep a low profile.

Magufuli warned last month that anyone who participates in illegal demonstrations will be met with the full force of the law, saying his government will not allow its economic reforms to be derailed by unlawful street protests.

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