18 August 2017

Tanzania: Lema Urges JPM to Emulate Kenyatta

Photo: The Citizen
Arusha Urban MP (Chadema) Godbless Lema

Arusha — Arusha Urban MP (Chadema) Godbless Lema has called on President John Magufuli to borrow a leaf from Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta to allow his political rivals to practice politics freely.

Addressing a political rally in Murieti Ward yesterday, Mr Lema said Mr Kenyatta has demonstrated a great deal of political maturity by allowing the opposition, who are accusing him of rigging the just concluded elections, to demonstrate and accord them with police escort.

Mr Kenyatta, who was seeking re-election on the Jubilee Party ticket, was announced winner of this month's elections bagging 54 per cent against 44 per cent of his arch-rival Raila Odinga of National Super Alliance (Nasa). Odinga has since declared to challenge the results in court.

"We're calling for President Magufuli to emulate the Kenyan situation and allow us to conduct public rallies and demonstrate so that he can hear our concerns and understand our feelings for that is our constitutional right," he said.

According to Mr Lema, allowing opposition rallies and demonstrations will benefit both sides, since the ruling party will understand the opposition and people's concerns and get to work on them while the opposition would be exercising their democratic duties of working with the people and address issues of public interest.

"Democracy is a complex matter, it even affects the economy. Majority of large scale investors probe the state of democracy before injecting their capital. If we are to continue with this direction it is surely going to haunt us in future," he said.

Speaking on anti-corruption war, Mr Lema said President Magufuli is fighting with a long-rooted system that in part was created by the ruling party CCM bigwigs.

"The best way of dealing with it is to ensure that he is strengthening the institutional capacity to tame it. That way even after he is gone from the helm, any leader who will succeed him will carry on from there," he said.

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