John Pombe Magufuli, President of Tanzania since 5 November 2015, is engaged in a very special election campaign. The presidential elections will be held on 28 October and Magufuli has run as a candidate in hopes of getting a second term. ° The Tanzanian government highlights its clear intent to stifle dissent before the polls. The authorities cracked down on the rights to freedom of expression and political assembly. They have built a formidable arsenal of laws aimed at stifling all forms of dissent before the elections”. This is the crude denunciation made by Amnesty International following a thorough investigation under the responsibility of Deprose Muchena, director of Amnesty International for East Africa and southern.
In recent months, security forces have arrested opposition candidates on false charges, depriving them of their right to freedom of assembly, association and movement. Opposition politicians have been arrested for holding or attending meetings, various media suspended and banned, criminalized online activism and NGOs suffocated with endless regulations.
Earlier this month, authorities suspended the election campaign of leading opposition candidate Tundu Lissu for seven days on charges of inciting violence before the vote. The National Electoral Commission said the decision was made by its ethics committee after receiving two complaints from the ruling party and another party about the political phraseology Lissu used during the election campaign. Lissu said the ban was “unacceptable”, calling the decision “another evidence of a discredited electoral commission and compromised electoral system.”
Tundu Antiphas Mughwai Lissu, leader of the main opposition party Chadema – Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Party for Democracy and Progress) on 7 September 2017, during a break in the parliamentary session while in his car, was hit by 16 bullets and seriously injured by strangers in the parking lot of his parliamentary residence in Area D, of the Tanzanian capital Dodoma. Tundu Lissu received emergency care for a few hours at Dodoma General Hospital before, for fear of his safety, being flown to Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya and later transferred to Leuven University Hospital in Gasthuisberg, Belgium. where, he underwent nineteen (19) operations. The investigation into the attack was in fact archived by a “mysterious hand”, perhaps because all the clues converged on President Magufuli. He allegedly used professional killers, perhaps Rwandans belonging to the FDLR terrorist group of which the ruling party CCM Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Party of the Revolution, founded by Nyarere) has maintained excellent political and business relations since 2001.
In June, nine opposition politicians were arrested for allegedly holding an illegal assembly. The same month, the operating license of the opposition daily Daima Tanzania was revoked, accused of violating the laws against the dissemination of false information. “President Magufuli must urgently reverse the decline of political and civil liberties in Tanzania and ensure that human rights defenders, activists and civil society organizations can carry out their work freely and independently without any fear of reprisals,” he said. said Amnesty International.
During the first presidential term Magufuli seriously deteriorated the rule of law and civil liberties of the African country with the greatest practice of democracy together with Ghana and Senegal. In addition to direct attacks on opposition and civil society leaders, Magufuli did not spare sexual minorities (with particular fury against gays and lesbians) and Burundian refugees accused of not supporting the CNDD’s HutuPower terror regime of General Neva and Bunyoni.
Referred to as “Papà” by the fourth-rate dictator Evariste Ndayishimiye during a recent visit to Tanzania, Magufuli has embarked on a path that is leading the country towards totalitarianism with serious consequences for human rights, society and the economy. If we analyse his repressive tactics we can conclude that they have been copied from those used by the Burundian regime. Softened in brutality and violence as, compared to Burundi, Tanzania still has an independent judiciary and the obligation to respect democratic rules. According to diplomatic sources Magufuli will be re-elected thanks to a hard core of supporters (about 40% of those entitled to vote) and thanks to the repression that effectively prevents opposition parties from carrying out a regular election campaign and obliges the media to submit to a regime of information censorship. Tanzania, famous for Julius Nyarere’s pan-African socialism and respect for democracy, is risking to becoming, due to Magufuli, a reactionary and dictatorial country that is part of East Africa in the “axis of evil”: Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda .
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