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Tanzania: Police arrest second Membe aide over ‘money laundering’

A second aide to former foreign affairs minister Bernard Membe has been arrested over a police probe into alleged money laundering.

Dar es Salaam special police zone commander Lazaro Mambosasa confirmed on Saturday they were now holding two aides to the former minister for questioning.

Police first arrested Jerome Luanda, on Tuesday, shortly after arriving at Julius Nyerere International Airport from Dubai where he had accompanied Mr Membe on a private visit. The ex-minister was at the airport when his aide was taken away.

Yesterday, Mr Mambosasa said they had picked the second aide whose name he did not disclose for questioning over the same alleged money laundering claims.

"We are still holding him (Luanda) and have added another aide who is also facing charges similar to those of his colleague," said Mr Mambosasa in a telephone interview.

The police are yet to reveal exactly what is involved in the charges they are alleging against the two aides. On Wednesday, Mr Membe, who is a presidential candidate in this year's General Election on an ACT-Wazalendo ticket, protested against the arrest of Mr Luanda, saying he was being held illegally.

He said his aide was taken away without any money or any bag. He threatened to "spill the beans" over the matter if his whereabouts remained unknown.

Mr Mambosasa said he would issue more information over the latest arrest today as he declined to reveal more during the interview.

Neither Membe nor his party has also spoken publicly about the second arrest.

"We have no information on that. Let me gather information and come back to you later," said ACT-Wazalendo secretary general Mr Ado Shaibu on phone.

Before returning to the country on Tuesday, Mr Membe had been to Dubai for several days to attend what he said was an annual meeting of the board of directors of a company he was associated with.

He also said he used the opportunity to check his health as part of his plan for a grueling campaign. He spoke at the airport where he enumerated several injustices he said were being committed against innocent Tanzanians.

The ex-minister who defected from the ruling party to join ACT-Wazalendo was due to start a tour of Kigoma region yesterday but sources told The Citizen he had not embarked on the journey yet.

This article was published by The Citizen.


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