Barely a week after a meeting between Tanzania’s ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party and the opposition Chadema, about 20 members of the latter’s youth wing were arrested for what police said was illegal assembly.
Hours later They were unconditionally released from the Babati Central Police Station in Manyara.
“What we are seeing are some people, with their own interests in mind, trying to use senior police officers to disrupt political reconciliation efforts that did so was set in motion by President Samia Suluhu, our Chairman Freeman Mbowe and other stakeholders in the country,” said John Mrema, Chadema’s chief of protocols and communications.
Chadema, the citing calls for a new constitution ahead of the 2025 general election, reiterated his position during talks with the CCM on May 21, led by President Sa mia at the State House in Dodoma. Both parties described the discussion as the start of a new initiative in political dialogue.
According to Chadema Secretary-General John Mnyika, the party brought two issues to the table: revitalizing the constitutional amendment process that stalled in 2014 and restoring constitutional and civil rights that were under threat under the previous government.
Mr Mnyika said the team had proposals to speed up the Katiba Mpya process and other key democratic reforms such as resuming activism by political parties without undue interference; preventing politically motivated court cases from being repeated; and abolishing repressive laws.
They also urged security guarantees for political exiles to return home. Appropriate structures and instruments, including a credible Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be established to expedite the repair process, and the adoption of an acceptable timeline for the completion of all processes were also proposed.
Chadema, however, rejected this at the invitation of a task force set up to coordinate the constitutional and democratic reform process.
“Our position in the task force has not changed. We believe that this direct dialogue process that we have just started the best way is to heal all wounds,” Mr Mnyika said.
The 25-strong task force formed by the Chancellor of Political Parties last December officially proposed to push the constitutional process forward after the 2025 election and the interim time used to amend electoral and political participation laws. ACT-Wazalendo, which submitted its proposal to the task force, wants the Katiba-Mpya trial to resume based on an earlier draft prepared by another committee led by former Prime Minister Joseph Warioba.
According to ACT-Wazalendo Public Relations Secretary Salum Bimani, the process should begin with amendments to the current constitution to level the playing field for all political parties in the 2025 election.
“The Changes should include regulations for the two municipal (civic) elections in 2024 and the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2025,” Mr Bimani said. “If the full Katiba Mpya process is not completed by August 2024, it can be halted and immediately after be resumed after the two elections,” he added.
Among others, the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), headed by Justice Warioba, proposed the introduction he proposed a three-government administrative structure for mainland Tanzania, Zanzibar and the Union respectively, while the final version n of the second draft by another Constituent Assembly (CA) differed significantly from the Warioba draft in that the current two-government structure ( Union and Zanzibar).
According to Mr. Bimani, the CA draft would not be accepted in Zanzibar because “it portrays Zanzibar as similar to a provisional or municipal government” within the Union structure.
< p>ACT Wazalendo also said in his views that a new consensus was needed on various other matters outlined in the current Constitution, including the powers of the President and the separation of powers between the three pillars of the state: Executive, Legislative and Judiciary, along with electoral systems .