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Tanzania President Says Opposition Plans To Topple Government

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Nyaturu, Mar 2, 2011.

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    Nyaturu Member

    Mar 2, 2011
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    DOW JONES NEWSWIRES, Tuesday, 1 March 2011

    The Tanzanian president said late Monday that the country's opposition is organizing protests across the country in a bid to topple the government by force.

    The ongoing protests being organized by the country's main opposition political party, known as Chadema, could plunge Tanzania into a crisis, Jakaya Kikwete said in a national address late Monday.

    "The public should ignore the opposition and focus on safeguarding the country's peace," he said. "They want to use chaos to satisfy their thirst for power."

    Last week, Chadema organized protests in Tanzania's second-largest city of Mwanza and threatened to organize Egypt-like protests if the government doesn't implement reforms to tackle corruption, fix the economy and create employment, according to local media.

    Thousands of protesters participated in the Feb. 24 peaceful demonstrations where Chadema also gave a nine-day ultimatum to the government to heed the opposition's demands. Mwanza is the regional city of Tanzania's gold mining region, around Lake Victoria. Tanzania is Africa's fourth leading gold producer after Mali, Ghana and South Africa.

    Reacting to the opposition threats, Kikwete said that whereas it is a basic right of every political party to organize demonstrations, such events shouldn't be used as a vehicle for forceful removal of a legitimately elected government in power.

    In October last year, Kikwete was announced winner of the country's disputed presidential polls, which were marred by violence and irregularities.

    The Tanzanian police arrested several Chadema party leaders including party president Willibrod Slaa in January after the party held an antigovernment rally in the city of Arusha. At least two people were also killed when the police tried to disperse the rally.

    President Kikwete warned that the country's security forces would crack down on any planned violence.

    - By Nicholas Bariyo, contributing to Dow Jones Newswires; 256-75-2624615 bariyonic@yahoo.co.uk