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LHRC: New Constitution Is Needed Right Now

The rights group says it is launching a ‘Democracy Month’ to advocate for the New Constitution among other activities.

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Dar es Salaam. Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) urged the government on Friday to make sure it delivers the New Constitution to Tanzanians before the 2025 General Election, saying the rewritten mother law “is needed right now.”

LHRC Executive Director Anna Henga told journalists during a press conference at the centre’s headquarters that the Dar es Salaam-based advocacy organisation is planning mass education campaigns as part of its plans to force the government to deliver the much-needed New Constitution.

“We have prepared a questionnaire with questions that we are going to ask people to respond to,” Henga briefed journalists. “The questionnaire contains very specific questions. For example, it will ask people to say when exactly would they like the process for the New Constitution to begin?”

The questionnaire will also ask respondents when would they like to see the process concluded, Henga added. It will also ask them where they think should the process start.

The latest call from LHRC on the issue of the New Constitution comes at a time when a consensus has been reached between opposition parties and the ruling party and the government on the need for the revival of the much-awaited process.

READ MORE: CCM Drums Up Demands for New Constitution

ALSO READ: Mbowe: New Constitution Now, No Ifs, Ands or Buts

The mass education campaigns on the New Constitution, however, is just one among many other activities that LHRC is planning to do in the following one month that it has dubbed ‘Democracy Month.’

LHRC has launched the month as part of commemorating the International Day of Democracy 2022 whose celebrations started on August 1, 2022, and are expected to conclude on September 15, 2022.

This year’s International Day of Democracy is celebrated under the theme Strengthening Democratic Resilience in the Face of Future Crises and it is taking place against the backdrop of democratic backsliding in various parts of the world.

In Tanzania, the day coincides with the thirty-year anniversary of the official return of political pluralism in the country following the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in the East African nation.

It is also coinciding with the ongoing process to collect stakeholders’ opinions on the best way to improve multiparty politics in the country coordinated by the Office of Part Registrar.

READ MORE: Samia Receives Preliminary Report from Taskforce on Democracy

Henga told journalists on Friday morning that LHRC aims at pushing these efforts to success by encouraging debates in the country around issues of democracy and human rights.

“On September 15, the climax of the International Day of Democracy, LHRC will organise a conference at the Julius Nyerere International Conference Centre (JNICC) as part of the celebrations,” Henga said.

“The conference will bring together stakeholders and reflect on the democratic journey that Tanzania has made so far and deliberate on ways we can improve democracy in the country,” added Henga who is a lawyer by profession.

She also said that LHRC will use the month to educate the public on programs that the organisation has been doing in its 27 years of active services in areas such as human rights advocacy as well as the provision of legal aid support to the needy.

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