A Tanzanian MP belonging to the leading opposition party of Chadema has been sentenced to five months in prison for producing a hatred speech to president John Pombe Magufuli.
The Senior Resident Magistrate Michael Mteite delivered the ruling against Joseph Mbilinyi popularly known as Sugu for the speech he made while addressing a rally in December 2017.
Sugu who successfully made a switch from being a musician to a member of parliament was sentenced along with the Chadema party`s secretary for the Southern Highland Zone, Emmanuel Masonga.
According to Reuters, court documents show that Sugu was accused of associating Magufuli with an alleged assassination attempt on vocal opposition MP Tundu Lissu last year. Lissu, a fierce critic of Magufuli’s government, was shot several times by unknown gunmen in the administrative capital Dodoma in September.
He sought treatment abroad and has yet to return. Magufuli condemned the attack on the opposition lawmaker and called for a swift investigation.
Sugu has always been critical of the government, including during his music days with his hit ‘Mikononi mwa Polisi’ calling out police brutality.
He has twice been elected to represent the people of the Mbeya Urban constituency since joining politics.