Tasking the government and especially the police force in the International Criminal Court was mooted by presidential opposition contender Edward Lowassa here yesterday.
The former premier talked for only five minutes to thousands of supporters waiting for him at Tindiga grounds in easterly outskirts of this emerging city at Kimandolu, where he said indictment of individuals was possible as happened in the case of Kenyan political heavyweights Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.
He made references to the condition of the now stalled General Tyre Co. as well as congestion of vehicles in the new city, while reiterating that he would look for ways to apply the law machinery to review the case of life imprisonment of famous musician Nguza Viking or ‘Babu Seya’ and his son Johnson Nguza alias ‘Papii Kocha.’
The former premier said he was going to address the myriad of challenges facing residents of Arusha region when the proper campaigns start, listing among such issues small miners’ problems, their loans and repayments, tourism and contentions of wildlife, livestock and farmers, teachers’ problems and conflicts of farmers and livestock keepers.
In the background, police tear-gassed the Chadema presidential candidate as arrived in the region to seek sponsors.
The bombing incident arose from massing of vehicles as people flocked to a rally at the Tindigani-Kimandolu grounds, obstructed traffic along the tourist city’s roads leading to the grounds as well in connecting with the main part of the city.
Thousands of supporters, some in cars and motorbikes, turned up from the Kilimanjaro International Airport, thronging the road leading to Arusha and to Kimandolu grounds.
It is estimated that 500 cars were involved in the reception, blocking traffic and making it difficult for police to direct vehicle flow, thus police resorted to use teargas on recalcitrant motorists pushing their vehicles in the blocked direction.
A stretch from Chama area along the Moshi-Arusha highway and the proper tourist spots entrance points in the city was the knot of the pandemonium as teargas rained on supporters and many abandoned their cars, making Nduruma Bridge impassable for about three hours.
Lowassa’s motorcade that was using both lanes of the road was also brought to a stop on arriving at Chama area before riot police cleared the way for it to pass by teargassing the thronging crowd and vehicle drivers.
This newspaper witnessed anti-riot police firing teargas canisters in the air to disperse supporters.
Some police officers carried sub-machine guns. Lowassa was frequently stopped on the way by crowds who wanted to greet him as his motorcade drove to the tourist city.
He made stopovers at King’ori, Kikatiti, Maji ya Chai, Usa River and Tengeru before he was stopped by police who wanted to clear the way for him by teargassing his own supporters who had blocked the road.
Lowassa’s visit to Arusha yesterday saw former Minister for Home Affairs Lawrence Masha defect to Chadema along with several other CCM cadres.
Others who ditched CCM include former parliamentary aspirant for Arumeru East Constituency Sioi Sumary, Arusha CCM regional secretary Isack Joseph and CCM’s Women Wing chairpersons for Siha and Karatu districts. Their names were not immediately established.
Others who defected to Chadema yesterday are Arusha regional UVCCM chairman Robson Metinyiku, Arusha regional chairman Yona Nko and other Simanjiro CCM leaders.
Masha volunteered a word to the media, saying he had made tough but right decisions. Former Kahama MP James Lembeli who also defected to the opposition said what is happening now is unavoidable.
Former Shinyanga CCM regional chairman John Mgeja said he joined the opposition not for his personal interest but for the wider national interest.