Tanzanian opposition politician Godbless Lema, who was arrested in Kenya while fleeing persecution, has left Nairobi for Canada.

Lema and his family departed Kenya after they were reportedly granted political asylum in Canada.

According to Lema’s lawyer George Luchiri Wajackoyah, his client and the family left the country on Wednesday night.

In October, the former Tanzanian Member of Parliament was arrested in Kenya while fleeing the country.

Godbless Lema, the former Arusha Urban Constituency MP, was arrested in Kajiado while fleeing the crackdown on opposition politicians since President John Magufuli earned a second term in office.


Lema was nabbed alongside his family while attempting to cross the Namanga border point.

The politician had left his home in a taxi accompanied his wife, Neema Godbless, their three children and alighted at Namanga.

 "I decided to use a taxi because driving my vehicle would have alerted the police. I have left everything at home. This does not matter now. What is important is my safety and that of my family," said Lema.

Reports indicate that the immigration officials refused to stamp their travel documents that were in possession of his wife.

The officials demanded that the wife must be accompanied by Lema before they could get approval to cross the border.

According to Lema, he tried to dupe the officials by notifying them that his children were going for admission at an international school.

He managed to cross the border where his lawyer George Luchiri helped him. However, upon learning the MP's identity, the Tanzanian authorities alerted their Kenyan counterparts that Lema had crossed the border without the necessary documents.

"The police pursued us and arrested us at Ilbisil where they took us to the local police post. I did not want them to lock up Lema in Ilbisil, owing to its proximity to the Tanzanian border," said Luchiri.

The lawyer added that his client was fleeing the hostility in Tanzania and was looking for refuge at the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Kenya.

A section of opposition politicians have been arrested since Magufuli won the second term.