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Friday, September 7, 2012

Political parties seek audience with PM

 

Daudi Mwangosi
Political parties under the Tanzania Centre for Democracy (TCD) are urgently seeking audience with Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda to discuss the recent political events in the country.
The TCD Chairman, James Mbatia said that they have decided on the move because the matter was urgent adding: “We understand all matters concerning political parties are under his office. At the moment there is nothing more important than a political dialogue.”
The parties have also called for the preparation of draft bill on a code of ethics to govern political parties and government institutions particularly the police.
Mbatia said leaders of political parties met and agreed during the TCD summit on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam to take further steps for the country’s democratic development.
Parties under the TCD are Chadema, CCM, CUF, NCCR-Mageuzi, TLP, UDP while SAU attended on behalf of those with no representatives in Parliament.
Meanwhile academicians, lawyers and members of the public have said the threat by the registrar of political parties John Tendwa to revoke registration of any political party disturbing the peace during rallies is not a solution.
Speaking to The Guardian in separate interviews yesterday they said Tendwa as the guardian of all political parties was supposed to censure the security organs which were given directives to control rallies of certain political parties.
Chairman of Academicians Network in Mbeya region Prince Mwaihojo said: “The Registrar was supposed to investigate the sources of the killings during the rallies of political parties in order to properly advise them on what to do instead of threatening to revoke their registration.”
Arusha-based lawayer Method Kimomogoro said the Registrar cannot revoke the registration of any political party by linking them with political fracas and murders.
“I remind Tendwa about the murder case in Shinyanga in 1976 which lead to resignation of former Home Affairs Minister Ali Hassan Mwinyi (currently retired President). People who were prosecuted for causing death to two people were senior officers of the police and national intelligence department who were involved in torture and murder,” Kimomogoro said.
He added: If skirmishes occur during political rallies, an independent commission must probe the source of the fight, instead of emerging with threats to revoke registration of political parties…even if he has the power to do so, he must first find out how the party was involved,”
He said Political Parties Act Article 258 section 19 gives the registrar powers to revoke the registration of a political party if it has violated the conditions of the law or has lost the registration qualifications as identified by the law.
The Lawyer said the issue of murder in political rallies or demonstrations banned by police were offences under the Penal Code and Police Laws and should be investigated as crimes.
He pointed out that the right to demonstrate or gathering is a constitutional right which cannot simply be ignored, adding that is the reason leaders of all pillars swear to safeguard the constitution and listed human rights.
In another development Chadema has postponed its operation in order to deal with the killings which occurred during the party’s political campaigns.
The party Operation commander, Benson Kigaila said the party’s Central committee will meet on Sunday in Dar es Salaam to make a statement on the move.

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