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The Chanzo Morning Briefing – February 1, 2023.

In our briefing today: Commission to investigate Tanzania’s criminal justice system inaugurated; High Court orders payment of Sh100 million in damages to a 70-year-old lady who was unlawfully detained; CCM explores partnerships with India’s BJP; Samia signs three bills into law.

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, January 31, 2023.

Commission to investigate Tanzania’s criminal justice system inaugurated

President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Tuesday inaugurated the commission she formed to investigate state organs responsible for dispensing criminal justice in Tanzania with the goal to improve the criminal justice system in the East African nation.

The inauguration took place at the Chamwino State House in the capital Dodoma during a function attended by members of the commission as well as other senior officials of the government.

Samia announced the formation of the commission on July 20, 2023, against the background of complaints from activists working in the area of criminal justice in Tanzania who slammed the system as unfair and discriminatory.

Speaking at the inauguration on Tuesday, the Head of State said the commission is one of a number of efforts that her administration will take to ensure that people working in the criminal justice organs abide by their ethics.

“I think we will all agree that the criminal justice system in this country is in total chaos,” Samia, who came into power on March 19, 2021, said in her address. “And that is not because we don’t have ethical guidelines in this country but because those guidelines are not being observed.”

Full story here.

High Court orders payment of Sh100 million in damages to a 70-year-old lady who was unlawfully detained

A High Court judge in Moshi, Kilimanjaro has ordered the payment of Sh100 million in damages to Mary Peter Otaru after finding out that the 70-year-old businesswoman was unlawfully arrested and detained in 2019.

In the civil case No. 4 of 2020 Ms Otaro sought compensation for unlawful arrest, filing a lawsuit against former Siha District Commissioner Onesmo Buswelu, the District Commanding Officer (OCD) for Siha district Namsemba Mwakatobe and the Attorney General.

Ms Otaro told the court that she was arrested and detained at Sanya Juu police station in Siha for five days – from December 23, 2019 to December 24, 2019 and from December 27, 2019 to December 30, 2019 – on orders of Mr Buswelo and was later released without being charged with any crime or sent to court.

She filed a lawsuit at the High Court, Moshi District Registry, seeking damages for unlawful arrest and damages. 

Ms Otaru informed the court that she was harassed and embarrassed during the arrest and detention thereby causing suffering and lowering her reputation as the managing director of OTARU Manufacturing and Trading Company limited, a company dealing with agribusiness in Siha district.

In a ruling released on Tuesday, Ms Otaru told the court that Mr Buswelo called her in his office where she found several people, including OCD Mwakatobe and officers from the KNCU (1984) Ltd.

She was then asked to answer questions about a lease agreement between OTARU Manufacturing and Trading Company limited and KNCU (1984) Ltd which she declined to answer because the matter was pending in court.

“Following the refusal, [Mr Buswelo] ordered [OCD Mwakatobe] to arrest Ms Otaru and take her to the [Sanya Juu] police station where she stayed for five days,” the ruling stated in part.

The defendants denied Ms Otaru’s claims but after weighing all factors carefully, Judge L.M. Mlacha on his ruling on January 25, 2023, declared that the arrest and detention of Ms Otaru “was contrary to the law and thus illegal.”

“I award Sh90,000,000 as general damages and Sh10,000,000 as punitive/exemplary damages to [Ms Otaru], total Sh100,000,000,” Mlacha said in his ruling.

“Punitive damages [of] Sh10,000,000 will be paid by the first defendant, Mr Onesmo Buswelu, personally, while the rest will be paid by his employer, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania,” the judge added in his well-received ruling.

CCM explores partnerships with India BJP

The ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) deputy chairperson (Tanzania Mainland) Abdulrahman Kinana is leading a five-member delegation of the party in India as the second longest-ruling party in Africa seeks to learn from India’s ruling party BJP on how it can “connect with the people.”

According to a report by the Indian news agency Press Trust of India (PTI), on Monday, Mr Kinana and his delegation met and held talks with BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda in the Indian capital of New Delhi and deliberated on a number of issues.

Citing a statement by BJP, PTI quoted Mr Kinana as saying that his left-leaning CCM has a lot to learn from the right-leaning BJP.

The meeting took place at the BJP headquarters and Kinana thanked Nadda for organising their visit for the last six days, it added

PTI reported that Nadda elaborated on various aspects of delivering the party message and programmes to the booth level and also about the mechanism of informing people about the welfare schemes of the Narendra Modi government.

Both the leaders agreed to continue party-to-party interactions between CCM and BJP.

They discussed ways to boost the relationship between the two countries along with cultural and people-to-people interactions.

The delegation of the ruling party of Tanzania is on a visit to India on the invitation of the BJP, it added.

The visit is a part of the external outreach initiative of “Know BJP,” launched by Nadda on the 42nd foundation day of the party.

Samia signs three bills into law

Speaker of the Parliament Dr Tulia Ackson on Tuesday told MPs that President Samia Suluhu Hassan has signed three bills into laws.

The bills include the Tanzania Investment Bill, the Personal Information Protection Bill and  the Bill for Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 3) Act, 2022.

According to the Speaker the laws have already started working in accordance with the laws of the country.

The three bills were tabled and passed by MPs last year.

This is it for today and we hope you enjoyed our briefing. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter (see below) or following us on Twitter (here) or joining us on Telegram (here). And in case you have any questions or comments, please consider dropping a word to our editors at

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