1: tanzania’s president samia suluhu hassan has recently lifted a six-year ban on political rallies imposed by her predecessor, john magufuli. mrs samia made the announcement of the reversal of the policy at a meeting with opposition politicians, which was welcomed by the chairman of the main opposition chadema party, freeman mbowe.
2: the ban on political rallies was initially imposed in between elections by mr magufuli in what was seen as an attempt to weaken the opposition. mr mbowe had been arrested on terrorism charges, which were dropped in march 2022, raising doubts about mrs samia’s commitment to reforms after she became president in 2021.
3: mrs samia’s decision to lift the ban is part of her 4rs initiative – reconciliation, resilience, reforms and rebuilding – and she acknowledged parties had the right to hold rallies, while urging them to be civil and not to “trade insults”. the opposition parties have demanded changes to the constitution, which they say gives too much power to the president, as well as safeguards for the independence of the electoral commission and the courts.