Tanzanian Authorities Must Uphold Citizens’ Fundamental Rights

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), an umbrella body of civic society organisations in Zimbabwe implores the Tanzanian government to respect, protect, promote and fulfil citizens’ fundamental rights (including the right to life) in the aftermath of the heavily disputed  October 28, 2020 election outcome.

The elections were characterised by a number of irregularities and largely failed the credibility test.

Recent cases of intimidation, detention and attempts on the lives of opposition leaders are a major cause for concern that call for the intervention of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) and the international community to intervene and hold the Chama Cha Mapinduzi leadership to account.

Prior to the elections (from January 2020), the Tanzanian government enacted harsh laws meant to silence opposition political parties, civic society organisations, the media as well as human rights defenders and ultimately citizens (including opposition figures) were deprived of the fundamental right of freedom of expression, freedom of association  and freedom of assembly.

What made the playing ground more uneven was the fact that there was selective application of the law as the stringent laws were only applied to opposition parties and other voices critical of the government.

We are deeply concerned that the situation in Tanzania mirrors the situation in most parts of Africa and the fact that revolutionary parties continue to use brute force and other very unorthodox means to continue to stick to power is a threat to democracy and ultimately, development in Africa.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition notes with huge concern that elections across most African states are resulting in a closure of the democratic space, militarisation of key state institutions and a clampdown on opposition as well as civic society leaders calling for free and fair elections.

Capture of key state institutions, including the judiciary and electoral commissions, as well as disregard of recommendations for free, fair and credible elections from regional and continental bodies has also resulted in elections across most African states being nothing but costly charades with pre-determined outcomes.

Source: The Crisis In Zimbabwe Coalition

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