Drop demo plan, Chadema told

  • CHRGG advises against inflammatory statements
  • Court rejects plea to annul ‘stop order’
THE Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRGG) has asked CHADEMA to refrain from its plan to hold nationwide demonstrations to provide an opportunity for the court to do its job without pressure.

It has further expressed the need for the opposition party to abstain from using the type of language and other actions that might lead to a breach of the peace. The Chairman of the Commission, Mr Bahame Nyanduga, made the call in a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, shortly after having a meeting with CHADEMA leaders, the Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi and Executive Director of Tanzania Centre of Democracy (TCD), Mr Daniel Loya.
“CHADEMA should refrain from uttering unnecessary words and phrases, including the word dictator in their political strategies since Tanzania is a democratic country that respects the rule of law, which explains why they have gone to court,” he said.
Mr Nyanduga expressed fear over possible violence and human rights breaches once the party insists on carrying out their countrywide demonstrations, adding that all those who will take part will be held accountable.
“We (commission) recommend that the police and political parties should adhere to the law and abstain from engaging in conduct that would steer chaos,’’ he further appealed. The commission has further asked the police force to stop using the word ‘Tutawashughulikia’ (we will squarely deal with them), meaning taking stringent action against all those who will not abide by the stop order, saying that such words were provocative.
Meanwhile, the High Court yesterday dismissed the application by Registered Trustees of CHADEMA that sought to oppose the order given by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to ban the political rallies indefinitely.
Principal Judge Ferdinand Wambali ruled against the opposition party after upholding two grounds of objections presented by the IGP and Attorney General (AG) and successfully argued by Principal State Attorney Gabriel Malata and Senior State Attorney Haruni Matagane. In the two grounds of objections, the IGP and AG, the respondents in the matter, had contended that the application in question was incompetent and bad in law for failure by Chadema’s Registered Trustees, the applicant, to exhaust other available remedies before knocking courts’ doors.
The counsel for the respondents had further told the court that the application was bad in law for want of a statement, thus contravening Rule 5 (2) (a) (b) and (c) of the Law Reform (Fatal Accidents and Miscellaneous Provisions) Judicial Review Procedure and Fees Act.
In his ruling, the Principal Judge noted that the applicant has other remedies, in particular, taking his complaints against the IGP to the Minister for Home Affairs before resorting to court actions. Such remedies, he said, ought to have been exhausted first before seeking court’s intervention.
The court had also been told that the statement prepared by one member of the opposition party’s registered trustees, Mr Arcado Ntagazwa, in support of the application did not meet the tests of being called a statement as per the cited law.
It was argued that the statement had not disclosed descriptions of the applicants, notably the physical addresses and identity. Instead, it was noted, the statement filed gave details relating to CHADEMA, who is not the applicant in the matter, thus“offending the rules in question.
’’ The applicant had sought for leave of the court to pursue for orders of certiorari for the purpose of quashing the orders and decisions made on July 7, this year, by the IGP to indefinitely ban all political rallies, meetings and gatherings in Tanzania.
He had sought for order of the court to declare that the IGP’s orders “are unreasonable, unjustifiable, without any legal or logical basis and are calculated to and have the effect of stifling the political activities of parties in Tanzania and thereby, stifling democracy.
’’ The court’s decision comes at a time the opposition was mobilising its members to take part in what is described as ‘Operation UKUTA’ scheduled to be held countrywide on September 1. It is said that the members would take part in demonstrations on claims that they were exercising such rights guaranteed under the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.
CHADEMA had planned to commence a nationwide tour to tell Tanzanians the reasons behind their opposition to President Magufuli’s leadership style, which they claim “is suppressing democracy much as it contains some elements of dictatorship.
’’ Four days after such statement by the opposition party, the ruling CCM also announced that it would go all over the country to counter the nationwide public rallies by the opposition party.
It was at that point in time when the police force decided to intervene, banning all rallies until further notice. Commissioner of Police for Training and Operations, Nsato Mssanzya, is quoted in a statement as saying that all political rallies have been banned for security reasons.
The police force has warned that stern measures would be taken against any defiant person. “The Police Force calls upon politicians to immediately stop putting pressure on citizens to disobey the country’s laws.
We will take to task any political party which will disobey this order immediately,’’ read the statement in part. It has further called on the people to be careful with politicians who have plans to destabilise peace and tranquility and instead “continue to cooperate in safeguarding the unity that the country has maintained all along.”

Drop demo plan, Chadema told Drop demo plan, Chadema told Reviewed by on 10:37:00 PM Rating: 5

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