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Tanzanian opposition women's leader released - party

Halima Mdee was arrested on Saturday in Tanzania's economic capital Dar es Salaam after meetings with her constituents, where she was critical of government spending.

Halima Mdee. Picture: @halimamdee/Twitter

NAIROBI - A leader of Tanzania's main opposition has been released on bail after her arrest for "seditious" remarks, colleagues from her Chadema party said on Monday.

Halima Mdee, 40, a member of parliament and a lawyer, and the leader of the women's wing of Chadema, was arrested on Saturday in Tanzania's economic capital Dar es Salaam after meetings with her constituents, where she was critical of government spending.

She was released late on Sunday after a night in custody, but must report to the police later this week, Chadema's secretary general Vincent Mashinji said.

Mdee, an outspoken critic of President John Magufuli, was arrested several times in 2018, accused of insulting him.

Her party said her arrest is the latest example of a crackdown by the government against its critics. Magufuli's government denies the claims.

Chadema party chairman Freeman Mbowe and fellow opposition MP Esther Matiko remain in custody following their arrest in November, after they twice ignored court summons to appear to face charges of illegal protest.

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