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The Chanzo’s Morning Briefing – June 22, 2021

Here are the top stories: Samia holds telephone conversations with China’s Xi Jinping; Housemaid under arrest over the murder of a toddler; LHRC wants former Kaliua DC brought to justice; lawyer Fatma Karume emerges victorious in a case against Advocates Committee.

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories in Tanzania reported on Monday, June 21, 2021.

Samia holds telephone conversations with China’s Xi Jinping

President Samia Suluhu Hassan held telephone conversations yesterday with her Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping where the two leaders discussed ways in which Tanzania-China relations can be maintained and improved.

A statement released by the director of presidential communications Mr Jaffar Haniu yesterday did not state what specifically the two leaders discussed except that they agreed to work together to realize the developmental goals of both countries.

But according to CGTN, a Chinese television network, President Samia said: “Tanzania is willing to actively promote cooperation with China under the [Belt and Road Initiative] BRI, implement outcomes of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and push for greater development of China-Africa ties.”

BRI is a Chinese strategy that seeks to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth.

According to CGTN also, President Samia stressed that “Tanzania firmly adheres to the one-China policy and supports China’s stance on issues concerning its core interests, including issues related to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang.”

Housemaid under arrest over the murder of a toddler

Police in Arusha are holding a housemaid accused of killing a one-year-old Tifan Osward through a chokehold. In a statement released yesterday, Arusha Police Commander Justine Masejo said that the incident took place on June 19, 2021, around 6:00 PM in the Olasiti neighbourhood in the northern region of Tanzania.

“[Police’s] preliminary investigations have found out that the housemaid from Mara region was hired two months ago,” said Masejo without revealing the name of the housemaid for security reasons. “Police are continuing with investigations in order to find out the real motivations behind the killing.”

LHRC wants former Kaliua DC brought to justice 

Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) said yesterday that it is expecting the government to bring to justice former Kaliua district commissioner Mr Abel Busalama for allegedly being responsible for the death of a four-year-old girl Nyanzobhe Mwandu who died on June 16, 2021, in Kombe,  a village in the Kaliua district, Tabora region.

LHRC alleges that Mr Busalama, acting in the capacity of a district commissioner, ordered police officers as well as officers from the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), a government agency charged with taking care of game reserves among other tasks, to burn down a house in which the young Nyanzobhe was in, leading to her death.

Reports indicate that Nyanzobhe’s home was one among more than thirty houses surrounding the Ngitiri village which was recently made a national park by Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and thus ordered to be demolished and their occupants vacate .

LHRC said in its statement yesterday that Mr Busalama, who has been replaced  by Matiko Paul Chacha as a new Kaliua’s DC, violated Article 24(1) and Article 14 of Tanzania’s constitution which respectively concern the right to own properties and the right to life. By ordering the burning down of people’s houses and contributing to the death of Nyazobhe, LHRC said that Mr Busalama has a case to answer and must be held accountable.

Meanwhile, Mwananchi newspaper reported yesterday that two teams from the office of the Prime Minister and the National Defence and Security Committee have already landed in Kaliua to investigate the case. As for who is responsible for the death of the young Nyazobhe, Mr Busalama told Mwananchi: “While family members claim that [Nyanzobhe] fell at the door during the struggle to save her life, her body was found two metres away from the door.”

Fatma Karume emerges victorious in a case against Advocates Committee

Lawyer and activist Fatma Karume described what Tanzanian authorities made her go through as “very painful” in an exclusive interview with The Chanzo yesterday.  The former president of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) was reacting to yesterday’s High Court ruling which pronounced her removal from the roll of advocates null and void.

In September 2019, Principal Judge of the High Court of Tanzania, Dr Eliezer Feleshi issued a temporary order suspending Fatma Karume from practising law and ordered the Registrar to file a complaint against the advocate before the Advocate’s Committee.

The suspension followed written submissions in a constitutional challenge of the then-President John Magufuli’s appointment of Professor Adelardus Kilangi as the Attorney General of Tanzania for lacking the requisite qualifications. Adelardus Kilangi argued, and Judge Feleshi agreed, that the language used by Fatma  Karume in her submissions was unprofessional and disrespectful of the Attorney General, who was the subject of the constitutional challenge.

A year later, on 23 September 2020, following the same complaint filed by the Attorney General, the Advocates’ Disciplinary Committee found Fatma Karume guilty of the alleged misconduct and directed that she be permanently disbarred from practising law in Tanzania. But the court ruled yesterday that the Attorney General’s complaint to the Advocate’s Committee contravened the law and thus the decision to remove Fatma from the roll of advocates was null and void.

Fatma told The Chanzo that the High Court didn’t return her practice certificate and thus her next step will be to write to the Registrar of the High Court to ask for it because according to Tanzania’s law, Feleshi’s temporary suspension order lapsed six months after it was issued.

“The ruling is a victory to me of sorts because it has shown the country and the world that the Attorney General and the Advocates’ Committee contravened basic legal principles,” said Fatma during a telephone interview.

“But my right to practice as an advocate in Tanzania is still subject to the Court of Appeal hearing, my application for review of Judge Feleshi’s ruling, which has not been listed for hearing for two years and the Registrar’s acceptance that temporary orders have a six-month lifespan. I will write to the Registrar and inform him that Feleshi’s temporary suspension order has lapsed and can no longer be the basis for the Registrar to withhold my practice certificate. I am looking forward to the response.”

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