The leader of Tanzania’s main opposition party has been charged with terrorism-related offences by a court in the East African country.
The charges against Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe follows his arrest that drew international concern and criticism of the country’s new president.
Mr Mbowe was detained last week along with 15 other members of the party in a late-night crackdown which government critics said bore the hallmarks of the oppressive rule of the country’s late leader.
State prosecutor Ester Martin said Mbowe had been charged with two counts of “economic sabotage”, crimes that do not allow for bail in Tanzania.
“These are terrorism financing and terrorism conspiracy,” she told reporters late Monday.
Chadema said Mbowe had been charged in Kisutu court with terrorism crimes without his family or lawyers present.
The party chairman and the other Chadema officials were arrested in the Lake Victoria port city of Mwanza last Wednesday ahead of a planned public meeting to demand constitutional reform.
Mbowe was transferred to a prison in Dar es Salaam where police said he was being held “for plotting terrorism acts including to kill government leaders”.