Tanzania: MPs grant government sweeping powers over political parties

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Tanzania’s parliament has passed new amendments to legislation granting the government sweeping powers over political parties in the country.

The changes were voted through by MPs on Tuesday in a move that opposition legislators argue will turn the country into a single-party state. President John Magufuli has caught the attention of rights groups over the past few years over moves that point towards an increasingly authoritarian regime.

Tanzania ‘one-party state’

 

Opposition groups fear the amendments will effectively criminalise political activities. ACT-Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe was unsuccessful in his attempt to seek a court injunction to block parliament passing the law changes. He later criticised the amendments in parliament late on Tuesday, suggesting they are unconstitutional.

“You can’t have a constitution that allows freedom of association then give someone powers to revoke that freedom of association,” he told lawmakers in parliament.

President Magufuli’s ruling party says the amendments are required to give the country’s government-appointed registrar authority to act as a political referee and ensure parties don’t embezzle funds.

Featured image: Twitter

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.