Let the Law remain in Lawful Hands
ON Thursday last week it was a sad day for relatives, friends and neighbours of the family of Mackimilan Mamkwe who is now deceased.
Mamkwe for reasons that are not yet fully established chose to end three lives. Of his own mother and his two children, Emanuel (12) and Ezekiel (8), the latter were pupils at Kokirie Mamba primary school.
The family in Moshi is said to have reached an end due to the fact that the assassin had run berserk after smoking marijuana. He was killed instantly and set ablaze by the irate villagers who were horrified by the manner of homicide that was conducted in their village.
While we take this opportunity to send a message of condolence to the family of the bereaved, we also condemn the manner in which the villagers eventually ended the life of Mamkwe.
It would have been enough for them to hand over the suspect to the Police Force who could have taken further action.
It is almost becoming fashionable for people to take law in their own hands and kill suspects without informing the authorities concerned. This is tantamount to violation of human rights and it could endanger the rule of law in this country.
People are allowed to protest when uncivilized actions take place, but this should not mean to ignore legal institutions that are there to deliver justice. Once again we call for members of the public to refrain from such actions.
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Tanzanians can Create their own Niche
IT has been reported in the media that African clothes had a big demand in London after designers held a fashion show there recently.
The most attractive clothes came from Nigeria and South Africa. It is good to note that designers from South Africa showcased Maasai attires which are found in Tanzania.
This then explains that designers from this country can as well create a niche for themselves in the international market provided they produce quality goods.
It is at this juncture that designers in Tanzania should be advised that while working they should have in mind what is the type of goods that would be attractive in the international market.
These are from simple shoes that visitors to Africa prefer when they come here, to other types of African clothes that women prefer.
Designers must note what the preferences from their customers in Europe are. They should make efforts to influence what is worn there with clothes from Africa.
In the case of shoes, they should learn which type of designs are needed, what do people prefer in their homes, in sports and leisure time, the best colours to use, the soft shoes made up of linen, simple leather etc.
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Kikwete is our legally-elected president
By Evarist Kagaruki
The ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) emerged victorious in the October general election in which Tanzanians gave President Jakaya Kikwete the second and last term in office. He was declared the winner by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) amid cries of “foul play” from the opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) whose presidential candidate and Kikwete’s main challenger, Dr Willibrod Slaa, claims the poll was “flawed”.
Challenging the presidential election results, Chadema announced on November 15 that it does not recognize President Kikwete on the allegation that he was declared the winner in a rigged poll. And three days later, there was a drama in Parliament - an entertainment of sorts ¬- in which Chadema legislators walked out as the President began his inaugural address to the august House.
This, of course, was something many a political pundit had predicted, having earlier witnessed the party boycotting the President’s and the Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda’s swearing-in ceremonies. Even before the announcement of the presidential poll results, an occasion that was also shunned by Chadema, there had been indications that the embittered party might not accept the election outcome.
On November 3, for example, the party asked the NEC to stop announcing the results and organize fresh elections, claiming there were serious discrepancies in the figures which were being released by the Commission. But the NEC Chairman Judge Lewis Makame dismissed the claim as “baseless” and called on Chadema to bring evidence, something which it seemed not prepared to do.
Chadema’s position of not recognizing a legitimate President in defiance of the Constitution has surprised many, especially considering that the party has not substantiated its allegations of electoral fraud The people have not been told with facts and figures to what extent the presidential election was “rigged” and how this affected the poll outcome. Besides, the party leadership consists of a highly regarded cadre of politicians who are well-versed in constitutional and other legal matters.
These people know very well that our Constitution does not allow anyone to challenge the presidential election results once the winner has been announced by the NEC. And we all are obliged to respect the Constitution which is the fundamental law of the land, no matter its shortcomings. Chadema would be right, of course, to argue, just as some of us have been doing, that the existing Constitution is more fovourable to the ruling party; and that, therefore, it does not provide a level playing field during elections. But that is what we have presently; it must be respected.
Interestingly, while Chadema says it does not recognize President Kikwete, it allows its MPs to take part in the activities of the Parliament of which the president is an integral part! The National Assembly is supposed to oversee the government formed by the president who Chadema rejects. Given that scenario, one wonders how the opposition party’s legislators would deal with the government in the House, especially considering that Chadema’s Chairman, Freeman Mbowe, is leader of Official Opposition in Parliament.
Critics, and even sympathizers, of Chadema think that the party’s strategy of expressing its concerns over the shortcomings in the electoral process is wrong. They suggest that the right forum for making protest and pressing for constitutional changes that would ensure free and fair elections in the future is the Parliament. I think this is a valid point. Luckily, Chadema has a sizeable number of MPs who constitute a voice that can not be ignored. Alternatively, the party could work from both inside and outside Parliament with other stakeholders to agitate for a new Constitution.
Defiance of a legitimately elected president as a form of protest against the poll results, and also as a way of pressing for constitutional reforms and overhaul of the electoral process is totally unacceptable. This is something many people resent because it is not Tanzanian culture and does not auger well for peace and national cohesion. Chadema would look more credible as “alternative government” (or “government-in-waiting”) if it learnt quickly to come to terms with the fact that the election of the Union President is fait accompli and start preparing for 2015.