ACT Wazalendo joins Chadema and NCCR to boycott meeting with Police Force

Monday September 27 2021
ACT pic

Mr Salim Bimani. PHOTO | FILE

By Bethsheba Wambura

Dar es Salaam. Opposition party ACT-Wazalendo party has said it  will not participate in meeting between political parties and the Police that is scheduled to take place in Dodoma on October 21.
Through a statement signed by the head of publicity and ideology, Mr Salim Bimani, ACT will instead, on October 21 and 22, attend a meeting organized by the Tanzania Centre for Democracy (TCD) that will be graced by President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
The TCD meeting is set to discuss on Justice, Peace and Reconciliation.
Earlier this month, the Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi, announced that political parties stakeholders would meet with the Police, an announcement which polarised opinion.
Judge Mutungi told a press conference that his office, in collaboration with the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro, was organising a meeting of political parties and senior police officers to resolve intensifying differences between the two sides.
While some welcomed the meetings and promised to participate including ACT, others maintained a hard-line position not to send any representatives to the meetings.
Bimani says in a statement that another reason is that ACT through their leader Zitto Kabwe wrote a letter to registrar proposing the meeting also should be attended by the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr George Simbachawene who is responsible for all matters that include the Police Force.  
“Untill now the we have not been given any update, that means the meeting will includes political parties only,” reads part of the statement.
Moreover, ACT-Wazalendo claims that IGP Simon Sirro’s statement after his meeting and Judge Mutungi doesn’t show any god intention for that meeting.
“IGP’s statement that in Tanzania there is no problem with external political parties meeting but internal meetings and with that the laws have to be reviewed, this shows that the meeting will used to squeeze political activities in the country,” says Bimani in a statement.
ACT Wazalendo now joins other opposition parties NCCR-Magezi and Chadema that were the first to announce their hard-line position not to send any representatives to the meetings.
While speaking to reporters on September 7, Chadema’s director of ideology, publicity and foreign affairs, Mr John Mrema, sais their party did not see the need to meet with the Police Force, saying animosity between police and the party had existed for six years, and was caused by the former.
“Yesterday, the Registrar of Political Parties said he would bring political parties together with the Police Force. Our position, as Chadema, is that we are not ready to participate in the meeting," Mr Mrema said then.
NCCR-Mageuzi’s head of Publicity and Public Relations, Mr Edward Simbeye, said the meeting lacks constitutional and legal mandate to lift the restriction imposed on political rallies by the Head of State.
“The Political Parties Registrar was supposed to organize a meeting involving political parties and policymakers, instead of the Police Force that is charged with enforcement of the laws and government directives,” he said over the phone.