Dar es Salaam. Speaker of Parliament Tulia Ackson on Monday dealt the opposition CHADEMA party a huge blow after she rejected its call to sack from the lawmaking body the nineteen Special Seat MPs after the party stripped them of the party’s membership after accusing them of indiscipline and violating the party’s directives.
Speaker Ackson cited the injunction filed at the High Court by the nineteen former CHADEMA members that seek to challenge the manner with which they were sacked from the opposition party.
“The parliament cannot interfere with the process that is going on at the court,” Dr Ackson told lawmakers in the capital Dodoma on Monday. “Until the court announces its ruling, I’m obliged not to announce that the nineteen CHADEMA Special Seat positions are open.”
The nineteen senior female leaders, who were the bulwark of the CHADEMA’s Women Wing (BAWACHA), fell from grace when they accepted the National Electoral Commission’s (NEC) appointment as Special Seat MPs at a time when the party had decided to boycott the positions as part of its protests against the results of the 2020 general election.
CHADEMA said then that it did not forward the list to NEC and when the 19 women leaders were summoned to the party’s Central Committee to clarify the matter they never showed up. Instead, they went to be sworn in as MPs by the then Speaker Job Ndugai.
Following their firing from the party, the nineteen women leaders appealed the Central Committee’s decision to the party’s General Assembly that took place from May 10 to May 11 in Dar es Salaam. But a total of 413 members, an equivalent of 97.6 per cent, of the 423-member assembly voted in approval of the central committee’s decision to sack the women.
CHADEMA Secretary-General John Mnyika could not immediately be reached to comment on the Speaker’s decision after his phone went unanswered.
But on May 13, 2022, Mr Mnyika confirmed on Twitter that the letter informing the parliament of CHADEMA’s decision to sack the Special Seat MPs from the party had already reached Dr Ackson’s office.
“It is important now that Speaker [Tulia Ackson] respects and implements legal and constitutional requirements [by sacking the MPs from the House],” Mr Mnyika said in a Twitter post.
The nineteen women leaders in question include Halima Mdee, Hawa Mwaifunga, Grace Tendega, Jesca Kishoa, Naghenjwa Kaboyoka and Tunza Malapo.
Others are Cecilia Pareso, Sophia Mwakagenda, Anatropia Theonest, Salome Makamba, Stella Fiao, Agnesta Kaiza, Hawa Mwaifunga, Felista Njau, Kunti Majala, Asia Mohamed, Conchesta Rwamulaza, Ester Bulaya, Esther Matiko Nusrat Hanje.