28 July 2016

Tanzania: Chadema - September 1 Is 'Defiance Day'

Photo: The Citizen
Posts of one of the main opposition party Chadema.

Dar es Salaam — Chadema has declared September 1 "Defiance Day" to mark the start of a nationwide campaign against "dictatorship".

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

Reached for comment last night, Inspector General of Police Ernest Mangu told The Citizen that he would not comment as he has yet to get official communication from Chadema.

Briefing journalists on resolutions made by the party's Central Committee when it met last weekend, Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe said the decision was aimed at protecting democratic gains made in the country in the last two decades, and which were in danger of being lost.

He said since Dr Magufuli took over last November, he and his lieutenants, including Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, have made remarks and taken decisions that were contrary to the law and the Constitution.

He mentioned some of the decisions as 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 tax cases.

Others include prohibiting members of the international community from meeting representatives of political parties and civil society organisations without the government's permission and tabling of the Information Bill, which seeks to have "errant" journalists jailed for between 15 and 20 years.

"We call on other political parties, civil society organisations and all Tanzanians who are touched by this to come out and support us," Mr Mbowe said.


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