17 March 2019

Tanzania: Nassari to Defend His Parliamentary Seat in Court

Dar es Salaam — Sacked Arumeru East MP Joshua Nassari (Chadema) announced his intention today, March 17, 2019, to challenge Speaker Job Ndugai's decision to strip him of his parliamentary seat in the court of law.

Parliament had attributed it's decision to the former firebrand lawmaker's absenteeism, but the latter maintained that he had communicated the reason for his absence to the office of the Speaker.

"I'm ready to fight for my right through the available justice mechanisms, including the courts," said Mr Nassari in a tone filled with emotions.

The politician said he did not see the logic behind Speaker Ndugai's decision, claiming it had been made without him being given the right to reply. He said the situation he was going through was a common one for any parent.

Mr Nassari claims to have been outside the country whereby he had accompanied his ailing wife who later gave birth two days before Parliament convened on January 29, 2019.

"I'm sure that anyone confronted by such a dilemma (as an MP who's supposed to attend parliamentary meetings and as a parent who's supposed to accompany his ailing wife) would've made the same decision as I did," said Mr Nassari.

Nassari, who declined to take questions from journalists, saying he was devastated, expressed sympathy for his electorate, describing the decision as merciless.

"We'll fight for their right through legal mechanisms," reiterated Mr Nassari in a press conference whereby he was unaccompanied by any Chadema top brass, except for Chadema's Youth Wing chairman (Bavicha) Patrick Ole Sosopi.

Earlier on Wednesday, the National Assembly Office said in a statement that it had written to the National Electoral Commission (NEC) chairman Semistocles Kaijage informing him that the Arumeru East seat was vacant after Mr Nassari lost eligibility to hold it.

Today's press conference by Mr Nassari comes one day after Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe asked him on Friday to come out and tell Tanzanians the truth on what exactly happened the led to him being stripped his parliamentary seat.


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