Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.
ACT-Wazalendo follows CHADEMA’s footsteps in boycotting party registrar’s upcoming meeting
Opposition ACT-Wazalendo party announced on Sunday that it is boycotting the planned joint meeting between political parties, the Police Force, and the Office of Party Registrar organized by the latter, giving three reasons for its unexpected decision.
The announcement comes almost three weeks since the Office of Party Registrar announced its intention to organize a consultative meeting between itself, the Tanzania Police Force as well as leaders of political parties to discuss the growing trend of law enforcement officers interfering with political activities.
It also follows a similar move by Tanzania’s main opposition party CHADEMA, which on September 7, 2021, announced that it was not going to take part in the meeting because it was not ready to meet with the “hostile police.”
In a statement, ACT-Wazalendo, which is a partner party in the Government of National Unity (GNU) in Zanzibar, said that between October 21 and October 22 this year, it will be attending a National Conference on Justice, Peace and Reconciliation organized by the Tanzania Centre for Democracy (TCD), hence it’ll be impossible for the party to attend the registrar’s meeting that is scheduled for October 21.
The leadership of TCD is rotational and ACT-Wazalendo will be responsible for leading the non-partisan membership organisation for the coming six months. The conference is one of the TCD’s activities under ACT-Wazalendo and it is expected to be graced by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, according to the conference’s advertisement.
Another reason given by ACT-Wazalendo for not participating in the meeting is the registrar’s refusal to heed the party’s request that demanded Home Affairs Minister Mr George Simbachawene be invited to the meeting as the Police Force is under his docket.
“Remarks by [Inspector-General of Police] IGP Simon Sirro after his meeting with the Registrar of Political Parties do not indicate that the meeting is being organized in a good faith,” ACT-Wazalendo head of publicity and ideology Mr Salim Bimani said in a statement.
He was referring to a meeting between the Police Force and the Party Registrar that took place on September 23, 2021, in the capital Dodoma, where, among other things, IGP Sirro pointed out the need to enact a law regulating internal party meetings, which now remain unregulated under Tanzania’s laws.
“The main problem is in the organisation of internal meetings and actually we have seen in the laws, [that is] the Police Force and Auxiliary Services Act and the Political Parties Act, [they] are not clear on the regulation of internal party meetings,” Mr Sirro told reporters shortly after the meeting.
ACT-Wazalendo commented about the statement in its Sunday’s announcement: “[IGP Sirro’s statement] is a clear sign that the meeting [between the police, political parties and party registrar] might be used to further restrict political activities in [Tanzania].”
Man reportedly arrested, temporarily detained in connection to Mbowe’s terrorism case
People who introduced themselves as members of Tanzania Intelligence and Security Service (TISS) on Saturday reportedly arrested and shortly detained, a man they thought would connect them to a member of CHADEMA Mr Martin Maranja who has recently been sharing real-time updates on the terrorism case against the party’s national chairperson Mr Freeman Mbowe and three others at the High Court’s Corruption and Economic Crimes Division in Dar es Salaam.
According to reports shared by Mr Maranja himself on Twitter on Saturday, the man, whose name was not released, was arrested and sent to a police station where he was made to call Mr Maranja and inquire Maranja’s whereabouts at that given time. The self-styled security officials fetched the man at his office after Mr Maranja shared a photo with him on Instagram.
The man was released hours later after one person who went by the name Mwita Nyamete bonded him out.
Mr Mbowe and three others face a terrorism case at the High Court’s Corruption and Economic Crimes Division, where, among other things, the former Hai MP (CHADEMA) is accused of taking part in conspiracies to blow up fueling stations and other public gatherings as well as funding terrorist acts. Others in the case No. 16/2021 are Halfan Hassan, Adam Kasekwa and Mohamed Lingwenya.
It has become one of the most sensational cases currently going on in Tanzania, a situation partly caused by Mr Maranja’s efforts in sharing live updates from inside the courthouse through his Twitter account every time the case is brought for hearing.
The case is now at the stage of witness examination, with Kinondoni Regional Police Commissioner Ramadhan Kingai, who is one of the government’s witnesses, and Mr Adam Kasekwa, a co-accused in the case and one of the defendants’ witnesses, having testified in court.
40 injured in factory explosion in Mwanza
At least forty employees of a steel factory in Tanzania’s northern region of Mwanza were injured on Friday afternoon following an explosion, police said on Saturday.
Mwanza regional police commander Ramadhan Ng’anzi said the 40 employees of Nyakato Steel Mill factory in the Mwanza city got injured after a metal exploded throwing galvanized steel into all directions.
Ng’anzi said police in collaboration with members of the Tanzania Fire and Rescue Force arrived at the factory to supervise rescue operations.
The police official said the injured workers were rushed to the Sekou Toure regional referral Hospital for treatment, adding that some of the victims were in serious condition.
He said the police have launched an investigation to establish the cause of the explosion.
Diana Anatory, a medical doctor at the Sekou Toure regional referral hospital, said seven of the 40 injured workers were in critical condition.
Zanzibar launches research project on herbal medicines
Zanzibar authorities on Saturday launched a research project aimed at enhancing the use of herbal medicines as an alternative cure for non-communicable diseases, Xinhua news agency reported.
The research will also involve adding value to herbal medicines through manufacturing processes and marketing.
“Research and developing herbal medicines is timely and vital amid global increase of both communicable and non-communicable diseases,” said Amour Suleiman Mohamed, Zanzibar’s director of medical services in the Ministry of Health, Social Welfare, Gender, Elderly and Children when he launched the project.
The two-year project will be undertaken by scientific researchers from the Zanzibar Health Research Institute and the National Institute for Medical Research, overseen by the Zanzibar Planning Commission and will be funded by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology.
Mohamed called for the need to improve and promote herbal medicines saying many people still depended on them for treatment.
He said the project would initially focus on herbs that can treat common asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure.
He said proper cultivation, maintenance and conservation, harvesting, processing, storage, packaging of the medicinal and aromatic plant industry are required to be standardized to meet the criteria for the certification of the herbal medicines.
Mohamed proposed that Zanzibar should in the near future have a traditional and herbal medicines institute to conduct research, training, and production of high-quality herbal medicines.
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