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DP loses case linked to party subventions

THE Attorney General (AG) has won another case in a dispute over payments of government subventions to political parties in Tanzania.

This follows the decision of the Court of Appeal to dismiss with costs an application for review lodged by Registered Trustees of Democratic Party (DP), seeking to challenge some provisions under the Political Parties Act relating to the funding system.

Justices Bernard Luanda, Augustine Mwarija and Rehema Mkuye ruled against the opposition party, previously chaired by Rev. Christopher Mtikila (who is deceased) after noting that the application did not meet the required tests to warrant the court to review its decision on the matter.

In the application, the DP was requesting the court to review its judgment for refusing to nullify Act No. 11 of 1996 for allegedly being unconstitutional and discriminatory, by denying the party government subventions which were paid to the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and Civic United Front (CUF).

The DP had also demanded to be paid 100m/-, being amount paid to the said two parties to settle matters arising from the 1995 General Elections.

The provisions in question were sections 16 (2) (c) and (3) (b) of the Political Parties Act. Both the High Court and Court of Appeal dismissed the case in question.

After losing the case, DP filed the application for review, citing Rule 66 (1) (a) of the Court of Appeal Rules, claiming that the court had committed some errors on the face of records resulting in the miscarriage of justice.

In their ruling, however, the justices of the appeal court noted that the DP, as the applicant, was asking the court to sit on an appeal against its own judgment arising from the same proceedings, saying that amounted to reopening the appeal.

“That is not the spirit behind application for review envisaged under rules.

To allow the application on those lines is to invite chaos in administration of justice machinery that there will be no end to litigation. This will go contrary to the public policy which demands all litigation must come to an end,” they said.

The justices further stated that there should be certainty of judgments, warning that a system of law which could not guarantee the certainty of its judgments and their enforceability was a fundamentally flawed system.

“There can be no certainty where decisions can be varied at any time at the pressure of the losing party and the machinery of justice as an institution would be brought into question.

In this case, we have seen the applicant has failed to meet the test of an application for review,” they declared.

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