Lawyers representing the Member of Parliament for Ngorongoro, who was recently arrested in Karatu, intends to file a writ of habeas corpus at the High Court of Tanzania, against state organs after the legislator went missing from the district police station.
Advocates Alais Melau and Joseph Ole Shangay told a press briefing in Arusha that their client, Emmanuel Lekishon Shangay, who is the Member of Parliament for the Ngorongoro Constituency was picked up by a team of people, believed to be state security officers.
He was apprehended when his car which was travelling from Arusha, heading to Karatu, was ambushed at Rhotia Hill in Karatu District.
“We were together with the parliamentarian when he was being snatched up along the road at Marera section,” explained the lawyers.
The Ngorongoro Legislators had previously been summoned to report to the Regional Crime Officer in Arusha, so he headed the call and travelled with his lawyers to the city.
But upon reaching Arusha, the RCO informed the MP and his lawyers that he was caught up with other tasks so they should return back to Karatu and report at the District Police Station.
“As we were nearing Karatu, a traffic officer summoned us to stop and suddenly two other cars arrived at the scene,” explained Advocate Melau.
The lawyers revealed that two vehicles, both Toyota Land-cruisers, one with registration numbers 01-JU-0064 which indicated that it belong to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and another one with private plates, T-550 DKW blocked them at Rhotia.
Member of Parliament, Emmanuel Lekishon Shangay was bundled into the Karatu Police station where he was probed for nine hours until past midnight, with his lawyers ordered to leave and report back in the morning.
The Police are reportedly accusing the Member of Parliament for inciting chaos in the Ngorongoro Conservation area resulting in some people being injured, even though the legislator himself had earlier on refuted the allegations.
But the following morning, the lawyers, upon arriving at the station, they were informed that the legislator was not there and that some higher authorities had taken him away.
Asked where the Legislator could be, the officers said they did not know either. The lawyers thus decided to file the recourse in law.
When contacted, the Karatu District Commissioner, Dadii Kolimba who is chairperson of the area security committee said he was not aware of the MP arrest, probing or the case of him being snatched from the station.
On his part, the Chairperson of Ngorongoro Pastoralists Council Edward Maura admitted that the MP had told his subjects in the area that, there was an order for him to report at the police station in Arusha and that when they went to check him in Karatu he was nowhere to be seen.
“The police at the desk refused to accept the thermos flask of tea which we had taken to MP Emmanuel Shangay,” he said.
The Acting Conservation Commissioner of Ngorongoro, Elibariki Bajuta refused to pick up his phone when we tried to contact him over the matter, especially because one of the Area Authority’s vehicles was involved in the incident.