Chadema goes it alone in new Tanzanian constitution



Chadema, Tanzania’s main opposition party, formally disassociated itself Friday from a cross-party political initiative to coordinate proposals for a new constitution and an independent electoral commission.

President Freeman Mbowe said that at a meeting of the party’s top leaders in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, the leaders decided that the Tanzania Center for Democracy’s approach to the issues was not in line with the Chadema’s image of what he wants to achieve.

“All we see is a strategy to further postpone the Katiba Mpya agenda which remains our main objective after all,” Mbowe said after chairing Chadema’s first high-level meeting since his release from jailed on terrorism-related charges two weeks ago.

TCD is an alliance of political parties designed to be a platform for multi-party democracy in Tanzania. Its current members include the ruling parties CCM, Chadema, ACT-Wazalendo, Civic United Front (CUF) and NCCR-Mageuzi.

Currently chaired by ACT-Wazalendo leader Zitto Kabwe, the TCD convened a “justice, peace and reconciliation conference” in Dodoma on March 30-31, intended to follow up on a previous meeting in December, President Samia Suluhu Hassan is again to be the main guest.

But Mr Mbowe denied statements by TCD officials that Chadema had accepted an invitation to attend the conference. “Neither I nor any other leader of this party will be there,” he said.


According to Kabwe, the conference will discuss two draft bills for a new national elections law and a political parties law prepared with the assistance of the Legal and Human Rights Center (LHRC), a non-profit organization.

Chadema boycotted the first conference convened by TCD in Dodoma last December, citing Mbowe’s then-ongoing terrorism trial as evidence of disingenuous pledges to end the crackdown on the opposition initiated by President Magufuli’s administration. .

Interviews with Samia

On Friday, Mr Mbowe also revealed interviews during his private meeting with President Suluhu at the State House in Dar es Salaam on the day prosecutors dropped terrorism charges against him and three others after spending eight months behind bars.

He said the talks were aimed at “laying the foundations for a more reconciling dialogue in the future as we (Chadema) continue to pursue our main objectives of a new constitution and a fair electoral system not controlled by the government. ‘State”.

“The president and I have reached some points of agreement in principle, but if we as a party see that the dialogue is going nowhere, we will walk away from the whole process without any hesitation or qualms.” , said Mr. Mbowe.


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