Tanzania Authorities Threaten To Deregister Opposition Party Over Criticism On World Bank Loan

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ACT Wazalendo leader Zitto Kabwe [Photo/Courtesy]

Tanzanian authorities have threatened to deregister opposition party Alliance for Change & Transparency Wazalendo even as the country prepares for general elections in October this year.

In a tweet on Friday, party leader Zitto Kabwe said the move is part of the government’s tactics to stifle opposition ahead of the elections.

According to Kabwe, one of the reasons the Registrar of Political parties in Tanzania wants to frustrate the party’s agenda is his recent hard stance on $500 Million World Bank loan.

Kabwe led a group of activists to oppose the education loan over the government’s policy on blocking pregnant girls from staying in schools.

Kabwe accused the John Pombe Magufuli government of denying the schoolgirls a right to education.

Read: Tanzania Opposition Leaders Link Attempt On Freeman Mbowe’s Life To Criticism On Magufuli Administration

“One of the reason given by the government of Tanzania on possible suspension/de-registration of our party ACT wazalendo is the letter I wrote to World Bank Tanzania regarding pregnant school girls. It is laughable that a state organ would even contemplate that in an election year, ” said Kabwe.

The activists stalled the loan for almost two years with Kabwe alleging death threats.

In a letter to the World Bank on 22 January, Kabwe urged board members to suspend any loans until “checks and balances” including a free press, free and fair elections, and the reinstatement of the controller and auditor general, were restored in the country.

The bank, however, approved the loan in April.

In a letter to the party dated July 14, the Registrar accuses ACT Wazelendo of contravening political parties laws after some of its members allegedly set ablaze rival party flags, engaged in politics in places of worship and misused party funds.

Read Also: UN Calls on Tanzania to Respect Human Rights as Magufuli Stifles Opposition

But Kabwe accuses the office of the registrar of political parties of being used by Magufuli to cripple the opposition ahead of the October elections.

Kabwe’s party has fronted Benard Membe to challenge Magufuli in the forthcoming Presidential elections.

The Magufuli regime has also, over the recent past, been accused by human right activists of using the criminal justice system to silence the opposition.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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