• Kisutu Resident Magistrate Wilbard Mashauri said the two leaders were in contempt of court for failing to show up for hearing and ordered their arrest.
  • The two alongside seven others are charged with sedition, incitement to violence and holding an illegal demonstration in February that led to the death of a female student, who was killed by a police stray bullet.

On Friday, a Dar es Salaam magistrate remanded opposition leader Freeman Mbowe and his party MP Esther Matiko after revoking their bails.

Kisutu Resident Magistrate Wilbard Mashauri said the two leaders were in contempt of court for failing to show up for hearing and ordered their arrest.

“Our country is led by laws and the law requires any defendant regardless of his or her position to abide by court order,” Said Judge Mashauri.

The judge said Mr Mbowe and his lawyer Peter Kibatala gave conflicting accounts of why the opposition leader didn’t appear in court as required.

Mr Mbowe, the opposition Chadema chairman, skipped court twice early this month, while the Tarime Urban MP failed to show up once.

According to Mbowe’s lawyer his client had fallen ill and flown to South Africa for treatment, but according to Mr Mbowe's statement, he had travelled to Washington DC but could not travel back in time for court after he was taken ill.

Ms Matiko on her hand claimed to have been on a parliamentary tour in Burundi as the reason she did not appear in court.

22-year old Akwilina Akwilline was fatally shot dead on a Friday afternoon as she was sitting in a public bus that happened to be passing by during the confrontation between police and opposition demonstrators in downtown Dar es Salaam.

Her death sparked riots and ignited a debate about the security forces crackdown on opposition activities in the country.

Six Tanzanian police officers were later arrested in connection with her death.