Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and opposition leader Freeman Mbowe have pledged to heal rifts and buttress democracy as they met hours after Mbowe was freed from jail in a surprise move. The AFP news agency reports that since Hassan took power in March last year following the sudden death of her predecessor John Magufuli, she had sought to break with some of his policies. She initially reached out to the opposition, vowing to defend democracy and basic freedoms, and reopened media outlets that were banned under Magufuli. But the arrest of Mbowe along with a number of other senior party officials just hours before they were to hold a public forum to demand constitutional reforms had dimmed those hopes.