The Chanzo is hosting Digital Freedom and Innovation Day on April 20, 2024. Register Here

Close this search box.

Mwabukusi Faulted Disqualification in TLS Election: ‘There is a Faction Working to Frustrate Democratic Processes, They Act As If They Own The Bar Association’

Mwabukusi has vowed to go to court but also called for members to boycott the election scheduled on August 02,2024

subscribe to our newsletter!

Boniface Mwabukusi a firebrand lawyer and activist has faulted his disqualification as TLS presidential candidate by the Electoral Appeals Committee of the Tanganyika Law Society saying it was not done in good faith and lacks legal merit.

Mwabukusi, one of six candidates for the TLS Chairperson post, had initially survived several objections raised against his candidacy. The Electoral Committee had nominated him after finding the objections meritless.

Still, on July 05, 2024, the Electoral Appeals Committee which is made up of five senior lawyers including Benedict B. Mwingwa (Rtd) Judge, Constantine Mutalemwa, Beatus Malima, Mary J. Munisi, Nakazaeli Lukio Tenga disqualified him on ethical grounds.

“The appeal committee observed that although the Electoral Committee found Advocate Boniface Mwabukusi to have met the criteria, the appeal body itself found that there was a criterion he did not meet, and therefore deemed him ineligible or unqualified to continue as a candidate for the presidency within TLS,” said Nelson Frank, Electoral Committee secretary during TLS press on July 06, 2024.

READ MORE: Lawyer Who Opposes Dubai DP Word-Tanzania Port Deal Summoned by the Advocate’s Disciplinary Committee

He added: “The main reason is the TLS election regulations of 2022 GN no 598, under regulation number 13. It was found that this candidate lacks one qualification due to a past ethical breach in the Advocate Committee where he was convicted and received a warning that has not been overturned, thus has an ethical stain.”

The specific wording in regulation 13 (c) of the regulation provides that one of the qualifications for a TLS presidential candidate is that a member is of good moral and ethical standing. Mwabukusi was taken to the Advocate Committee by the Attorney General during the Tanzania-Dubai port agreement saga, of which Mwabukusi was one of the fierce opponents.

The Attorney General wanted Mwabukusi disbarred citing unprofessional conduct due to the language used against the Speaker of Parliament, the Prime Minister, Ministers, and the parliament. In one of the pressers Mwabukusi argued that they had approved a contract they did not know what it was about.

Mwabukusi was let go with a warning from the Advocate Committee in a process that saw his lawyer, Advocate Mpale Mpoki being suspended for six months.

READ MORE: Suspended Advocate Mpale Mpoki Shares His Side of Story: ‘This Is Not About Me.’


Mwabukusi says he was surprised to receive a call regarding his appeal a day before the appeal, something that he was not aware of. At that point in an election, only the candidate or their agent can appeal, especially when they are unsatisfied with the process during the Electoral Committee nomination.

“All other appeals were rejected as the people who submitted them had no legal right. However, in the appeal against me, the body decided to give itself power it doesn’t have, the power of revision and it said it was for public interest. The whole appeal was supposed to be thrown out once it was established that the people who brought them had no locus standi,” argued Mwabukusi.

In its report, the election committee said there were six appeals submitted by various members to the appellate body, five of them were thrown out as they lacked legal merits. In the presser, the Secretary of the electoral committee argued that Mwabukusi could appeal to the court if he was dissatisfied, something that Mwabukusi has confirmed he will do.

“I am a member in good standing, I have all the qualifications to run, and I will not accept this manipulation, argued Mwabukusi.

He continued: “I will reject this within the Association, I will reject it outside the Association through legal means, and I will tell the members that we must reject and boycott this election because it is a fraudulent election aimed at perpetuating a system that exploits the members.”


Following the disqualification of Mwabukusi, five candidates remain for the Chairperson post in the election scheduled for August 2, 2024, in Dodoma.

The remaining members who have already started their campaigning include Sweetbert Nkuba, Managing Partner of the Sweet and Conrad firm, and former District Administrative Secretary; Emmanuel Augustino Muga; Capt. Ibrahim Mbiu Bendera former ship captain and Executive Partner, at Bendera & Co, Advocates.

Others are Paul Revocatus Kaunda Managing Partner at Kaunda & Company Advocates and also a founder of Wakili  App ;  and Revocatuz Lubigili Kibwe former District Administrative Secretary of Igunga. Mwabukusi has called for his fellow candidates and other members to boycott the election citing that a faction is working to manipulate democratic processes against members’ interests.

Mwabukusi argued: “I want to tell Tanzanians that there are internal and external factions that are working to frustrate internal democratic processes so that they can put the lawyers they want as leaders.”

“These are people who believe they are the ones who are TLS, that they own the association, and that only they have the right to decide who will be a leader in TLS, ” he emphasized.

There is a perception among many observers of Tanzania politics that after the election of Tundu Lissu, the opposition politician, and then after Lawyer activists Fatma Karume and Rugemeleza Nshala, there was a push to have actors who are more inclined to the state position.

READ MORE: Lawyers in Tanzania Decry State’s Interference With Their Right to Work

Several lawyers have responded to the issue by supporting Mwabukusi. “Truth be told; I wouldn’t have voted for Mwabukusi. I would have voted for Kaunda,” said Advocate Peter Kibatala. “But unless Mwabukusi’s name is fully restored in the roll of Presidential contestants, I will boycott the TLS electoral process and attendant meeting.”

Advocate Dickson Matata also weighed in on the issue: “To protect the integrity of the bar association and that of lawyers, I will not participate in this year’s election following the unjust removal of Mwabukusi from contesting this position.”

Digital Freedom and Innovation Day
The Chanzo is hosting Digital Freedom and Innovation Day on Saturday April 20, 2024 at Makumbusho ya Taifa.

Register to secure your spot

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *