Will the President of Tanzania achieve the expected “political reconciliation”?

Will the President of Tanzania achieve the expected “political reconciliation”?

Tanzania has taken a major step towards achieving “political reconciliation” promised by the country’s President, Samia Solo Hassan, upon her accession to power in 2021, by canceling a ban imposed on political gatherings more than 6 years ago, and sparked repeated tensions between the police and opposition forces. Will the President of Tanzania achieve the expected “political reconciliation”?

FILE PHOTO: Tanzania’s new President Samia Suluhu Hassan takes oath of office following the death of her predecessor John Pombe Magufuli at State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

Will the President of Tanzania achieve the expected “political reconciliation”?

Encouraging political signals

Samia Hassan assumed power after the death of former President John Magufuli in March 2021, whose rule was seen as the “most tyrannical” in the country’s history, according to international human rights organizations, which repeatedly accused him of “carrying out repeated arrests of opposition political figures.” Hassan said, in a meeting in her office in the capital, Dar es Salaam, with the leaders of 19 political parties registered in Tanzania, on Tuesday evening, that “political parties have the right to hold their public meetings,” stressing “allowing the lifting of the declaration banning public meetings.” However, with the abolition of the ban, she stipulated a security guarantee, she said: “The government will be responsible for ensuring security during gatherings, but I urge all politicians to practice civilized politics as well,” noting that “the security services will evaluate the requests, and if there is any threat, they will not allow ». The Tanzanian president also expressed her patience over the opposition’s criticism.

International NGO Welcome

Samia Hassan’s decision to lift the ban is part of a declared strategy for reconciliation and political reforms, which includes resuming the stalled constitution review process, as promised to the political forces.

The Tanzanian presidential decision was welcomed locally and internationally. “It is good that the president allowed political meetings… We are now waiting to see implementation by other government officials,” said prominent dissident Freeman Mboye, who spent seven months in prison on “terrorism” charges. Tanzanian political activist Leon Copeland described Samia Hassan as having “applied her courage,” noting in statements that the decision “comes within multiple demands for political reform and the establishment of a true democratic system that allows the transfer of power and freedom for political parties,” calling on the president to implement it.

In turn, Amnesty International welcomed the lifting of the ban on political assemblies in Tanzania, and said that “although the ban should not have taken place in the first place, we salute the Tanzanian government’s decision to lift the comprehensive ban on political assemblies in the country, a ban that was used in the past.” For the arbitrary arrest and detention of prominent opposition politicians.

A conciliatory phase in Tanzanian politics

Furthermore, she considered the move “comes in the right direction,” calling on the Tanzanian authorities to “move forward towards greater protection of human rights, including by repealing or amending the Political Parties Law to remove all obstacles to the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression.”

After his election in October 2015, President Magufuli banned public gatherings of political parties, stressing at the time that “the time has come for action, not politics.” However, this prohibition did not actually extend to the opposition, because the ruling party since independence in 1961, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, could still organize rallies whenever it wanted.

Will the President of Tanzania achieve the expected “political reconciliation”?

Samia Hassan, 62, is the first woman to reach this position in the East African country. According to the description of the African affairs expert and professor of political science, it represents “the beginning of a conciliatory phase in Tanzanian politics, which enhances the democratic transition.”

Leave a ReplyCancel reply