Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.
Activists in Z’bar want murders of two women investigated
Gender activists from Zanzibar have called on the security organs in the semi-autonomous archipelago to investigate the murders of two women on two different occasions in Unguja island.
Laura Msemwa, 23, and Khairat Juma Bakari, 28, from Bububu and Mbuzini, respectively, were reportedly murdered on May 20, 2023, by people yet to be identified.
Both Bububu and Mbuzini are in Unguja’s Mjini Magharib region.
In a joint statement on Saturday, Zanzibar Female Lawyers Association (ZAFELA) and Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA) – Zanzibar called on the security organs to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice.
The organisations said that the incidents had created fear among women and girls in Zanzibar over their safety, noting that the arrest of the perpetrators of the murders would help allay those fears.
“Bringing these perpetrators to justice will serve as a warning to other people planning to commit the same crime,” the organisations said in their statement. “We also urge the society to ensure that incidents like these do not happen in Zanzibar.”
On May 25, 2023, police in Zanzibar confirmed the murders to have occurred, pointing out that its perpetrators were still at large and the police were looking for them.
In their joint statement on Saturday, ZAFELA and TAMWA-Zanzibar said that since 2016, 23 incidents involving the murders of women and children have been reported in Zanzibar.
In all incidents, justice has not been served, something that ZAFELA and TAMWA-Zanzibar think encourages the incidents to repeat themselves.
Excitement as Tanzania’s political reformers get boost from EACJ
Calls for Tanzania to reform its much-criticised Political Parties Act of 2019 received a boost from the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) on Friday after the treaty-based judicial body upheld its 2022 ruling that some sections of the law violates the treaty establishing the East African Community (EAC).
The latest development comes following an appeal that Tanzania filed at the regional court, seeking to overturn a ruling it made on March 25, 2022, that gave victory to leaders of opposition parties Zitto Kabwe, the late Seif Sharif Hamad, Freeman Mbowe, Hashim Rungwe, and the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) who together challenged the law.
On Friday, EACJ threw away the appeal filed by Tanzania’s Attorney General, upholding its earlier ruling that provisions of sections 3, 4, 5, 9, 15, and 29 of the Political Parties Act of 2019 violate Articles 6(d), 7(2) and 8(1)(c) of the treaty establishing the EAC, directing the government to take necessary measures to bring the law into conformity with the treaty.
Being one of the controversial pieces of legislation passed during the previous administration, the law has been criticised for constituting an unjustified restriction of democracy, good governance, and freedom of association.
Specifically, the law has been criticised for giving the Registrar of Political Parties power to monitor intra-party elections and nomination process, violating freedom of association, democracy, and the rule of law.
The law has also been criticised for centralising civic education and capacity-building training to the Registrar of Political Parties, a decision critics think is unjustifiable and contrary to the freedom of expression and access to information.
Full story here.
Tanzania’s ‘underground’ hip-hop artists mark African Liberation Day
The theme of economic liberation dominated discussions at the commemoration of African Liberation Day celebrations in an occasion that brought together members from the ‘underground’ hip-hop movement in Tanzania and those from the country’s other social movements.
The ‘underground’ hip-hop artists define themselves as artists who have refused to go mainstream and have decided to remain ‘underground,’ organising under the umbrella of Watunza Misingi, which means Foundations Keepers in English.
Marked every year on May 25th, this year’s Africa Day coincided with the commemoration of 60 years since the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), later renamed to the African Union (AU), with celebrations taking place in several African countries and around the world.
The ‘underground’ hip-hop artists and other members of Tanzania’s social movements marked the day at the Amy Garvel Hall in Manzese Tip-Top in the city, a hall named after one of the female founders of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in 1914, a pan-Africanism fraternal organisation established by the African Diaspora.
Full story here.
Nyerere Road to close for three months for SGR construction
The Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) announced on Sunday that the Nyerere Road would be closed for three months due to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) construction.
The agency announced that the area to be closed is at the intersection of Nyerere and Shaurimoyo roads. The road will be closed from Sunday, May 28, and reopened on Saturday, September 30, 2023, when construction is completed.
During the construction period, motorists and pedestrians are advised to use alternative roads; Kawawa, Veta-Chang’ombe, Shaurimoyo, Kilwa and the diversion road built on the edge of the construction area.
“Tanroads apologises for any inconvenience caused during construction,” TANROADS said in a statement.
Nyerere Road is one of the main roads in the city. Previously known as Pugu Road because it goes from the city centre to Pugu in the southwest of Dar es Salaam.
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