Chadema: Nothing can stop us from carrying out demos

Wednesday August 10 2016

Chadema secretary general Vicent Mashinji

Chadema secretary general Vicent Mashinji (right) and chief lawyer Tundu Lissu address a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday. The opposition party has said it would go ahead with planned demonstrations on September 1, despite a police warning. PHOTO | SAID KHAMIS 

By Deogratius Kamagi @Deogratiuskamagi dkamagi@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Opposition Chadema has reiterated its resolve to hold countrywide demonstrations from September 1, this year despite a warning by the police.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Chadema secretary general Vicent Mashinji said preparations for the demonstrations were on course.

Dr Mashinji also condemned a letter allegedly written to the party by Ethics Secretariat Commissioner Salome Kaganda, summoning the party national chairman, Mr Freeman Mbowe and chief lawyer Mr Tundu Lissu, saying the move was undemocratic.

He accused the government violating the constitution and democratic rights of opposition parties.

“According to the letter, our party has been referred to as a small group of people outside the parliament, which is an offensive language against Chadema and its leadership,” said Dr Mashinji.

“It also shows that there is leadership vacuum in our country,” he said.

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He added: “We can’t tolerate such humiliation. There is no way you can undermine the party that got almost 40 per cent of all votes in last year’s General Election.

“We also have 73 members parliament and more than 1,000 councillors.”

Dr Mashinji said everywhere in the world, it is the duty of opposition parties to challenge and positively criticise the government in power so that it walk the talk.

He they would like to see the government improves social services and turn around the country’s economic fortunes.

For his side, Mr Lissu, apart from challenging faulting Ms Kaganda’s letter, he promised to honour the call by the Ethics Secretariat to avoid legal technicalities that, according to him, relevant authorities might use to imposed a ban on them.

He said they have been summoned allegedly for inciting violence, but the charges they are facing, haven’t been listed on the letter. “It seems it was written by an incompetent official who was also fotrced to do so by someone,” he said.

“Despite of technical blunders from the summoning letter, we shall not ignore it at all, we have to respond accordingly to avoid the consequences that might have been planned against us,”

“The letter caries a conspiracy agenda to block us from leadership position, as the secretariat is powered according to the law to initiate the ethics court against anyone who will breach leadership codes of conducts,”

He went on to insist that, the party wouldn’t be silenced in their agenda, and defended their move saying that it is within the constitutional and legal frameworks.

“In case of any barrier, we are ready to face them at the court and anywhere they will take us too,” said Mr Tundu Lissu who was also recently arrested for sedition and incitement.