Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu and former Chair of the Tanganyika Law Society Fatma Karume have called for economic sanctions against President John Magufuli’s regime.
Mr Lissu, a former presidential candidate and deputy chairperson of political party Chadema, and Karume called upon the international community to levy economic sanctions, claiming that donor funds could be used to further destabilise the opposition rather than for development. However, the two said that the opposition remains strong in Tanzania despite President Magufuli’s determination to limit their political activities.
Mr Lissu ruled out changing election laws and democratising of elections through a legal process in the next five years due to what he termed as a “dictatorial” regime in his home country.
“I know more about our electoral law and the impossibility of changing of democratising our elections by using the courts. It will simply not happen,” said Mr Lissu. “I am completely hopeful that all is not lost yet.”
Mr Lissu and Ms Karume were speaking during a webinar hosted by the Brenthurst Foundation and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, under the Governance Accountability Platform banner on Friday. “Given what has happened, any form of assistance to Magufuli will be read by Magufuli and will be presented to the people of Tanzania and it is being presented so, as an endorsement of his murderous regime. It will be taken as proof that what he is doing is correct and he is being supported internationally,” said Mr Lissu.
Ms Karume said the Tanzanian administration had politicised the army and police forces.
“The army is weaponised and so is the police force,” she said.
She termed the decision by President Magufuli to use of the army to take personal property as illegal and unconstitutional.
“This is an army that went to Southern Tanzania and confiscated from the people of the south a cashew nut crop because the Commander-in-Chief had asked them to do this, completely unaware that they can’t do that under our Constitution.”