Tanzania Opposition to Hold Defiance Rallies

Tanzania's main opposition party Chama cha Democrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) vows to hold protests against what it alleges as the suppression of democracy by the government under President John Magufuli.

The party's Members of Parliament from the northern zone lead by Joseph Selasini (MP Rombo) said they are not scared of the police ban of demos. "We will be in the frontline because we are ready to risk our lives in quest for democracy; we have deliberated about a Central Committee decision and have agreed that we will participate in defiance rallies," said Mr Selasini.

He reiterated that the 1992 Political Parties Act allows politicians to hold political activities which include rallies and demos throughout the year.

Mr Selasini accused President Magufuli, who took over power last November, of making remarks and taking decisions that are contrary to the law and the Constitution.

Stiffling democracy

He said the banning of political rallies, the limiting of live coverage of parliamentary proceedings, muzzling and undermining of opposition MPs and directing courts to rule in the government's favour in taxation-related cases were some of the ways in which the Magufuli administration was stifling democracy.

The Chadema Central Committee declared September 1 "Defiance Day" to mark the start of nationwide campaigns against "dictatorship".

The party said opposition supporters and other well-wishers across the country are expected on that day to hold peaceful processions and rallies against what it claimed as President Magufuli's growing "dictatorial tendencies."

Source: The Monitor.