Tanzanian singer Vanessa Mdee, who was arrested last Wednesday, March 8, on suspicion of drug trafficking, has been released on police bond.
Mdee was released from Central Police Station on Monday, March 13 after spending six nights in police custody.
The hash tag “Free Vanessa Mdee” trended on social media on Sunday, with fans across the East African region taking to the platform to push for her release.
She is expected to return to Central Police Station on Wednesday, March 15.
Vanessa Mdee’s lawyer, Aman Tenga, said her client recorded a statement at a Dar es Salaam police station, as had earlier been ordered by Dar es Salaam regional commissioner, Paul Makonda.
Mr Tenga said Vanessa Mdee, early last month, was in South Africa filming MTV Shuga, when Mr Makonda listed her among suspected drug dealers operating in Tanzania.
Mr Tenga also claimed that police officers early last month conducted a house search at Mdee’s place before subjecting her to drug test at a government medical facility.
Dar es Salaam police boss Simon Sirro said the operation to arrest the suspected drug-traffickers began early February.
Five people were apprehended on February 3, and an additional 12 arrested the following day.
Among those who were arrested in connection with drug-dealing allegations included: Actress Wema Sepetu, singer TID, Dogo Hamidu, Clouds FM presenter Babuu wa Kitaa, socialite Agnes Masogange, among others.
Mr Sirro said a special unit, comprising the police and other investigative agencies, was put in place to hunt for drug barons operating in Tanzania.
Despite government’s efforts to end the social ill of drug trafficking across its borders, several Tanzanians have been arrested in connection with this illegal business outside the country.
There are reports abound about a number of Tanzanians having been hanged after being caught with the drugs outside the country, notably in China.
Following public criticism of government laxity in the fight against the scourge, Tanzanian authorities have vowed to push the envelope to curtail the vice of drug-trafficking.