You’ve still not met with us, Mbowe reminds Samia

Thursday June 10 2021
Chadema pic

Chadema national chairman, Freeman Mbowe.

By Hamida Shariff

Morogoro. Chadema national chairman Freeman Mbowe yesterday reminded President Samia Suluhu Hassan on the promise to meet leaders of the main opposition party.

In April this year, Mr Mbowe wrote to President Hassan asking to meet her in a session that was intended to inform the Head of State on the grievances which Tanzanians continue to face.

In a letter that was responded to after one week, the opposition political party also planned to provide the Head of State with proposals on how best to move forward and strengthen the country’s integration in the broad interests of all Tanzanians.

But, Chadema revealed the secret in the letter, a few days after President Hassan announced her plan to meet leaders of political parties in order to deliberate and agree on an appropriate and efficient way of doing politics in the best interests of the country.

But, yesterday, Mr Mbowe told a regional consultative meeting of political leaders that the Head of State hadn’t fulfilled her promise and, instead, continues to meet social and other groups.

“We will not kneel down in order to insist. We submitted our request and she was smart enough to respond to it within a very short time,” he said.

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“But, three months have gone by - and there are still people in prison and hospital. Our ‘mother’ should know the pains that have filled people’s hearts and they would like to offload them through her. We are not asking for tea or beverages, we are looking for justice.”

He said Chadema has several issues on which to advise the Head of State, noting that sections of the youth and women who are still in custory for politically motivated or planted cases.

Mr Mbowe - who was a former Hai Constituency MP - said Chadema faced sabotage in the 2020 Election. “Although she has started working on some of the issues, the healing process will be completed after getting an in-depth explanation from us. Measures taken against (former Hai District Commissioner Lengai ole) Sabaya are not enough because Chadema doesn’t believe in revenge,” he said.

“Because the President is late, we’re asking her to form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that would undertake the task of healing the wounds of different groups of Tanzanians, including livestock herders, politicians and several others who were harassed at different times,” Mbowe said.

People would appear before the commission and tell the truth for justice to take its course against people found to be perpetrators, he said.

“We are not asking for money or a week-long talks; two hours are enough for us to represent millions of desperate Tanzanians in order to bolster the country’s solidarity,” he said.

He asked political party leaders to demand the president’s position at the meeting and press for a response to the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission.