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The Arrest of The Leader of Official Opposition in Tanzania

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Felixonfellix, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Felixonfellix

    Felixonfellix JF-Expert Member

    Jun 6, 2011
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
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    The Arrest of The Leader of Official Opposition in Tanzania, Hon. Freeman Mbowe (Mb) is infringement of freedom of Parliament and a threat to democracy in the country

    This is to bring to your urgent attention that the Leader of Official Opposition in Tanzania Parliament, Hon. Freeman Mbowe (Mp) who is also the National Party Leader (Chairman) of CHADEMA, the main opposition party in the country has been arrested today (4th June 2011) and is being held in custody at the Central Police Station in Dar es Salaam.
    He has been arrested during the ongoing Parliamentary Committee sessions that he is attending as prelude to the fourth Parliamentary Session that is scheduled to commence on 7th June 2011.
    He has been arrested by the Police by the order of Resident Magistrate's court which is tantamount to infringement of freedom of Parliament and a threat to democracy in the country. This is very unfortunate as the arrest comes against Court order which had exempted the MP’s from attending court sessions which are at mention stage at Arusha. The Court also made order to issue “notice to show cause” to sureties, but court records do not indicate that the said notice to sureties had matterally been issued. It is clear therefore that the said arrest is a result of a master plan of the rulling Party CCM whose Chairman is also the President of the United Republic of Tanzania. The arrest clearly will destabilize the preparation of the Opposition Budget Speech.
    The arrest is unlawful and unconstitutional as it contravenes the statutes in the Union Constitution and Commonwealth National Parliament customs and traditions, which accord lawmakers’ immunity whenever they are engaged in Parliamentary business.
    Members of Parliament according To Parliamentary Immunities, Powers and Privilleges Act, 1988 may not be arrested during parliamentary sessions without Speaker’s authorization as per stipulations set forth in sections 5, 6 and 11 of the said Act.
    Also article 100 of the Union Constitution of 1977 recognizes and defends freedom of expression, discussions, and parliamentary procedures and that such freedom will not be broken or questioned by any organ of the union government or in any court or anywhere outside the parliament.
    We further call to your attention that there has been an ongoing trend of the police force in Tanzania arresting, beating and harassing opposition legislators . This is now becoming a pattern.
    The list of CHADEMA Members of Parliament recently arrested and released on bail include Hon. Philemon Ndesamburo, Joseph Selasin, Godbless Lema, Hon. Meshack Opulukwa, Hon. Tundu Lissu (Chief Whip), Hon. Esther Matiko and a CUF legislator Hon. Magdalena Sakaya who is to date in custody. Hon Lissu was arrested, beaten and harassed while on official tour as Shadow Minister for Home Affairs.
    However Incase of the ruling party, CCM MPs-some of whom with greater charges; Speaker’s permission is sought as evidenced by the Letter dated May 31 letter from Mwanza Special Police Investigator (SP) B.M. Wakulyamba asking the Speaker to authorise the questioning of CCM’s Busega MP, Titus Kamani in connection with an alleged plot to murder former Busega MP Dr Raphael Chegeni. The treatment of Opposition Parties is a double standard.
    On 3rd June 2011 Mr Mbowe had told the press that he has been shocked by the arrest warrant issued in the pre text of court contempt since both him and the party has the record of respecting the court. Mr Mbowe explained that recognizing the role of the opposition in the budgetary proceedings that are ongoing the accused legislators agreed with the Resident Magistrate that they will appear in Court after the Budget sessions.
    We ask for your support to call for his immediate release and condemn the actions of state machinery against the opposition legislators, leaders and democracy.
    Issued by:

    John Mnyika (Mp)
    Secretary of Official Opposition
    And Director of Foreign Affairs (CHADEMA)
    +255-784-222 222