Geita/Dar. As Tanzanian women joined their colleagues across the world to commemorate the International Women’s Day yesterday, the opposition and some activists condemned the police for barring some women groups from marking the day.
Two letters, signed by the police, were circulated on social media platform indicating that the police in Geita and Mpanda had barred Chadema and ACT-Wazalendo, two of the opposition parties, from marking the day.
In a letter number CDM/GT/Vol..3/1/2019 signed by Geita Regional Police Commander Ally Kitumbu, the police barred Chadema women from holding celebrations at Moyo wa Huruma Hall.
According to the letter the commemoration of Women Day in Geita would be held at Bugulula grounds at the district level while that of the township level would have been held at new market grounds, hence no one else was allowed to organise the celebrations.
Leader of ACT-Wazalendo Mr Zitto Kabwe was one of those, who condemned the police decision. “Police has barred ACT-Wazalendo and Chadema from commemorating women’s day in Mpanda and Geita respectively…how can police direct women how to celebrate their day,” wrote Mr Kabwe on social media platforms.
Chadema women wing chairperson Halima Mdee, who was apparently supposed to attend the celebrations in Geita, blamed the police for being involved in politics rather than fulfilling their core responsibility, which is to protect civilians.
“The event was important for women because during the meeting they would have got a chance to discuss various challenges that they face,” said Ms Mdee.
The Tanzania Gender Networking Programme chairperson of board directors, Dr Vicensia Shule, said this years Women’s Day commemoration was marred by suppression of freedom of expression.
According to her there are some groups, which were denied right to assemble.