Law rules

The “rules” of the law on political parties criticized

By Gadiosa Lamtey

Dar es Salaam. President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s directive to the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Politics, Coordination and Parliament), Pindi Chana, to draft regulations that will govern political gatherings was received yesterday with mixed opinions from stakeholders.

Some commentators said the idea was good but it was too early for them to comment, others argued that the directive was intended to avoid the implementation of proper law.

A statement released by Director of Presidential Communications Ms. Zuhura Yunus yesterday said the directive was issued based on draft resolutions from the task force formed at the political party meeting held from December 15 to 17 of the year. year in Dodoma.

President Hassan asked Ms. Chana to work closely with the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) and the Zanzibar Law Society (ZLS) in drafting the regulations.

“Drafting regulations that would guide political rallies was a short-term resolution,” reads the statement in part, “while mid-term determinations focused on the challenge of corruption and ethics in elections, the grant making, civic education and elections and the constitution as long term plans.

Contacted for comment yesterday, University of Dar es Salaam political science professor Richard Mbunda said it was too early to react to the guidelines.

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“The Political Parties Act 1992 authorizes political parties to hold political rallies with law enforcement agencies necessary to provide security,” he said. “However, the police restricted the exercise of their right by the opposition, while favoring the ruling CCM,” he added.

In his tweet, Vice President of Chadema (Mainland Tanzania) Tundu Lissu noted that the decision was an arbitrary decision by President Hassan to avoid the implementation of the Political Parties Act and its existing regulations.

“President Samia (Suluhu Hassan) is looking for ways to avoid the clear and unambiguous requirements of the Political Parties Law and the Police Force Law regarding the right of political parties to organize rallies and demonstrations public. She will not succeed. The two laws do not require any new enabling regulations”.

Chadema’s director of ideology, publicity and foreign affairs, John Mrema, said they hoped stakeholders would be involved in the enactment of the regulations.

He was of the view that the issues of drafting the constitution and forming an independent electoral body would have been prioritized as they required sufficient time.

“If the task force report is made public, we will go all the way to find out what led to such decisions. Only then can we provide detailed advice,” Mr. Mrema said.

ACT-Wazalendo General Secretary Ado Shaibu said at the Dodoma Stakeholders Meeting that his party presented arguments on four issues including amending the Political Parties Act and its regulations.

He has repeatedly said that his party has stressed that parties do not compete on equal political ground: “The new regulations should remove barriers preventing political parties from holding rallies.”

In another development, the CCM yesterday announced plans to amend its 1977 Constitution to prepare for local elections in 2024, secure ethical leadership in intra-party elections and close corruption loopholes in the party.

Outlining the decision of the CCM Central Committee (CC) meeting held on Friday in Dodoma under the chairmanship of its chairperson, President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the party’s Secretary for Ideology and Publicity, Shaka Hamdu Shaka, said the amendment was aimed at increasing the efficiency of the party in carrying out its functions.

“The amendments aim to speed up party operations, oversee decisions made to thwart abuses of power and increase representation at the grassroots level,” Shaka said.

On December 13, 2016, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the CCM approved sweeping reforms reducing the number of CC members to 24 from 34 previously.

The frequency of CC meetings has been extended to three times a year instead of the previous six.

In addition, the membership of the NEC was reduced to 158 from 388 and that the body would hold its regular meetings twice a year, from three times.

The party’s then-secretary for ideology and publicity, Nape Nnauye, clarified that the changes would take effect after the party’s constitution was amended.