Tanzania Lifts Six-year-old Ban on Political Rallies

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By our Correspondent

Tanzania president, Samia Suluhu Hassan says a ban on political rallies in the country is over.

The President has thus, officially lifted the country’s six-year ban on political rallies in Tanzania.

Of note, John Magufuli, Hassan’s predecessor, had imposed the ban in 2016, saying rallies were a waste of time and money.

And under the ban, elected politicians were only allowed to conduct rallies in their constituencies.

Back then, Magufuli’s critics had seen it as an attempt to weaken the opposition during election periods.

But speaking to leaders of Tanzania’s 19 registered political parties on Tuesday, Hassan said parties now had the right to hold rallies but only on civil grounds.

“I am here to declare that the ban on political rallies has been lifted. It is the right of political parties to hold rallies but we all have responsibilities,” she declared.

“Our duty as a government will be offering protection for the rallies. Just inform us as the laws require. Security organs will evaluate your requests.

Hence for her, “If there is any threat, they won’t allow you, but for the step we are in right now, they will definitely allow you to conduct your rallies.”

Hassan then said her decision to lift the ban was part of her strategy of “reconciliation, resilience, reforms and rebuilding” the nation.

Hassan, who is Tanzania’s first female president, to came into power after Magufuli died in March 2021, has carried out a number of reforms in the country.

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Recently, in December, she cancelled the Independence Day celebration and directed that the budget of $445,000 be used to build eight dormitories for children with special needs in primary schools around the country.

Again, she said the unnecessary extravagance of the celebrations informed her decision to use the allocated budget to handle a more urgent project.

Further, she has also lifted a ban on four newspapers in the country as an effort to promote press freedom.

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