Dar es Salaam. Members and leaders of the opposition party CHADEMA burst with excitement on Wednesday following the decision by the High Court of Tanzania to dismiss objections filed by the party’s sacked members, which include former Kawe MP Halima Mdee.
The nineteen former CHADEMA female leaders filed an objection at the court with the aim of preventing their expulsion from the party but the court dismissed the injunction over a technical issue. Now that the court has dismissed the objection, all eyes are on Dodoma to see if Speaker of Parliament Tulia Ackson will sack the Special Seats MPs from the lawmaking body.
The 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.
On May 16, 2022, Dr Ackson rejected calls to sack from the parliament the nineteen leaders, citing a court injunction filed by the leaders.
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.
Speaking outside of the High Court premise in Dar es Salaam, CHADEMA Secretary-General John Mnyika said that Speaker Tulia now will have no excuse for keeping the nineteen female MPs in the parliament.
“We will explain further steps that the party will take in future but now we want these people removed from the parliament,” Mr Mnyika told journalists outside the court. “There is no longer an injunction nor any other excuses. The country’s constitution must be respected.”