Dar es Salaam. The government yesterday supported applications submitted by Ms Halima Mdee and 18 others filed at the High Court, requesting permission to file a case challenging Chadema’s decision to strip off their party membership.
Team leader of lawyers for the National Electoral Commission (Nec) and the Attorney General (AG), Mr Stanley Kalokola, told the court that the applicants had fulfilled legal requirements for the permission to be granted.
He said the applicants had filed their request within the required time of six months after the decision in question had been issued.
Ms Mdee and the 18 others were stripped off party membership during the party’s meeting of the Central Committee held on November 2020 before getting the nod from the National Council on May 23, 2022.
However, the 19 maintain that they were still party members and Special Seats MPs, who are sponsored by the main opposition party, insisting that procedures were not followed. But, yesterday, Mr Kalokola said issues raised by applicants including claims that they were denied the right to be heard before the decision was made need to be heard because it is their constitutional right.
“If that is their demand, then they are supposed to be given the opportunity to file the application in order to be heard by the court,” said Mr Kalokola.Advocate Ipilinga Panya told the court that his clients through their oaths and attached statements, had fulfilled the required legal demands.
Regarding their interest in the case, Panya said the applicants were special seats MPs guaranteed by Chadema during the 2020 General Election.
Responding to the arguments, advocate Peter Kibatala said although he agreed at the beginning that the applicants had interests and the right to come to court, he objected the submitted application saying it was tabled out of time.
He said the six month time is counted from November 27, 2020 when the Central Committee made the decision against the lawmakers.