Tanzania’s main opposition party Chadema is boycotting a planned national dialogue because the agenda does not include talks about a new constitution.

Freeman Mbowe, Chadema’s chairman, was recently held on terror charges for eights months and announced the boycott on Friday at his first press briefing since his release.

The meetings are being organised by Tanzania’s Centre for Democracy – a non-religious, non-partisan organisation that includes all the major political parties in Tanzania.

But Mr Mbowe says that the planned cross-party talks are merely an attempt to scuttle Chadema’s push for a new Tanzanian constitution, and wants the president to include a truth and justice process in the talks.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan has struck a reconciliatory note with the opposition since taking over last year after the sudden death of her predecessor John Magufuli.

After Mr Mbowe’s release earlier this march, he met President Samia but details of the meeting have not been made public.

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