19 MPs: High Court faults all objections to expulsion

23Jun 2022
The Guardian Reporter
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
19 MPs: High Court faults all objections to expulsion

THE High Court of Tanzania yesterday dismissed an objection filed by the 19 Special Seats Members of Parliament (MPs) of the leading opposition party, Chadema regarding their expulsion from the party.

Judge John Mgeta, delivering the ruling, said that the court reached its verdict after reviewing arguments submitted by both sides, where seven objections by the political party were presented by advocate Peter Kibatala.

The technically disqualified MPs led by the party’s former women’s wing chairperson Halima Mdee, filed an objection to expulsion, asking the court to impose a restraining order on the matter.

Observers said the ruling removes all restraint due to expulsion from the party, as the High Court accepted two out of the seven objections presented by the party, directing that adjustments be made on five other objections.

The court faulted objections filed by Mdee and 18 other, asserting that the MPs addressed the wrong applicant who in accordance to the laws was supposed to be the registered trustee, citing Section 21 (1) of the Political Parties Act as requiring each registered political party to appoint trustees.

Chadema advocate Jeremia Mtobesya asked the court to dismiss the files objections as the MPs sued the National Electoral Commission (NEC) “which should not have been involved in the case.”

He said the court has no powers to questions decisions by NEC, in accordance with Section 74 (12) of the constitution.

Party secretary general John Mnyika said the Attorney General is now expected to inform the Speaker of the National Assembly on the court decision, with the Speaker expected to implement the court order right away and formally “ordering the expelled MPs to leave the House.”

On May 11 the party governing council voted unanimously to expel the 19 Special Seats MPs for having been sworn in without the blessing of the party, after which former Kawe MP Halima Mdee said the voting process was clouded with intrigues and lacked transparency.

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