Tanzania: Registrar Cautions Chadema Against Seditious Language

The Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi, has strongly condemned the statement by Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) issued on Wednesday, saying it was against the law governing political parties and intended to instigate civil disorder.

Justice Mutungi said in a statement issued in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the Political Parties Act Number Five of 1992 Section 9 restricts political parties from prompting the use of excessive power or chaos to attain its political objectives. Mr Mutungi added that the law also forbids party leaders from using abusive or seditious language, which may lead to a breach of the peace.

"This is not the first time for CHADEMA to use such abusive language...I call upon the party leaders to refrain from such practice and abide by the law," Justice Mutungi said.

Justice Mutungi explained that the law governing political parties provide for procedures to be observed by any political party in communicating with public institutions, hence the need for them to respect the law.

He called upon the parties to exercise political tolerance to promote democracy in the country. On Wednesday, CHADEMA announced its intention to hold rallies to denounce what the party termed as violation of principles of good governance by the government.

Despite the previous ban, National CHADEMA Chairman Freeman Mbowe told a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday that they were prepared for the event. He said his party has started internal meetings to discuss the state of politics in the country ahead of the planned rallies.

"The party's lawyers will also meet to review events that have occurred so far to enable them take possible legal action against the government," he said. The police force has issued a stop order for any rally in the country by banning all meetings by political parties, warning that whoever would be caught defying the directive would be squarely dealt with.

Meanwhile, CCM yesterday strongly faulted opposition CHADEMA's move to launch a countrywide operation in protest of President John Magufuli's leadership.

The opposition party on Wednesday declared that starting next September, they will conduct a campaign against what they termed as 'dictatorship' under Magufuli's government -- even if the police would not grant permission.

In a statement yesterday, the ruling party censured CHADEMA for its "lack of agenda" since Dr Magufuli came to power, as they have been keen to perpetuate lies."

CCM Spokesperson Christopher Ole Sendeka said the reasons flouted by CHADEMA were baseless since the government did not ban political rallies as it was claimed while Dr Magufuli's did not have any elements of dictatorship.

"What exactly kind of dictatorship they are talking about? Is this because the Magufuli's government is taking stringent measures against tax evaders or because of sacking corrupt officials?" asked Mr Ole Sendeka. He added that CCM believed that many Tanzanians supported efforts by President Magufuli.

"And if for Chadema this is dictatorship, it is no wonder that they are part of the rotten system. This is why they are defending such system," he remarked. He described the planned intended CHADEMA's countrywide rallies in protest of Dr Magufuli's leadership style as plan to cause chaos in the country.

"During such demos, it is poor supporters who die or get injured; why not leaders or their close relatives party?" he questioned. He appealed to Tanzanians not to take part in the rallies during CHADEMA's protests in September. Such operations had already caused deaths in the past.

Mr Ole Sendeka pointed out that such action had no positive impact among Tanzanians in the past other than giving CHADEMA cheap popularity.

CCM has called on the police not to hesitate taking right measures against those who will go against the law, arguing that development has never been brought by chaos, but through working hard and maintaining peace in the country.

Source: Tanzania Daily News.