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Tanzanian politician Godbless Lema granted asylum in Canada

AFRICA
By Mwangi Maina | December 10th 2020

Former Tanzanian MP Godbless Lema and his family has been granted political asylum in Canada.

The fiery opposition politician left Nairobi -- where had sought refuge for about a month -- last evening, his lawyer Prof George Wajackoyah told Standard Digital.

The Chadema member, who had served in parliament for two terms, was arrested in Ilbissil in Kajiado County in November. He was fleeing prosecution in Tanzania and crossed over in Kenya through the Namanga border.

Prof Wajackoyah said they were grateful to the UNCHR, KHRC and the Kenyan media for highlighting their plight.

He also extended his gratitude to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his administration for allowing the Mr Godbless to stay in Nairobi.

"Kenya has been held high on improving human rights of refugees, a departure from the normal routine of expatriation," the lawyer told Standard Digital.

Chadema's national chair Freeman Mbowe travelled to Kenya to see off his party colleague to Canada.

A crackdown on Tanzanian's opposition was intensified weeks after President John Pombe Magufuli was sworn in for a second five-year term.

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Godbless Lema was the first politician to flee his country, claiming that Magufuli 's regime was yearning to persecute him politically.

This is after Tanzanian authorities arrested him alongside other opposition politicians after the October 28 General Election.

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