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Tanzanian opposition MP jailed for defaming president

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- A Tanzanian opposition member of Parliament was on Monday jailed for five months after he was convicted of delivering a hate speech against President John Magufuli.

Michael Mteite, a Senior Resident Magistrate for the Mbeya Resident Magistrate’s Court in southern Tanzania, jailed Joseph Mbilinyi, an MP for opposition party Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) and the party’s secretary for southern highlands zone, Emmanuel Masonga.

Magistrate Mteite said it was proven in court beyond reasonable doubt that the duo were guilty of delivering a hate speech against Magufuli at Mwenge primary school grounds in Mbeya city on December 30 last year.

On Sunday, the two politicians urged their supporters to remain calm as they awaited the ruling.

“All you need to do is be calm and wait for the court’s decisions. This isn’t the time of mourning. We need to evaluate where we are taking the region to for the interest of the people,” he told residents of Mbeya region.

Mbilinyi was elected by the highest number of votes out of all the 264 elected MPs during the 2015 general election.

He gathered 108,566 votes, and all the other applicants for the constituency shared only 57,690 votes.



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