US hails Tanzania for good governance

THE US Vice President Kamala Harris has commended President Samia Suluhu Hassan for her efforts to strengthen democracy and good governance, saying the Head of State has played an important role in bolstering  the existing bilateral partnerships.

She made the statement yesterday at Dar es Salaam State House, during a press briefing shortly after holding official talks with her host, President Samia.

Ms Harris, who landed in the country on Wednesday for a three-day official visit, said President Samia has been a champion of democratic reforms in Tanzania, ushering in improved partnerships between the two countries.

“You (President Samia) have been a champion of democratic reforms in this country, and that has expanded our partnership,” she said.

The US Vice President noted further that the administration of President Joe Biden is fully committed to strengthening the existing bilateral relationship going forward.

“On the subject of democracy and good governance, as I said in Ghana, the vast majority of Africans support democracy over other forms of government,” explained Ms Harris.

Adding; “This, reflects a shared desire between us, the United States will continue to work alongside democratic governments in support of democratic aspirations especially for the people of this continent”.

She observed that under the administration of President Samia,   Tanzania has managed to take important and meaningful steps towards promoting and enhancing democracy and good governance.

She said the US government admires President Samia for her keen efforts on working with opposition political parties, a move that has seen a lift of ban on political rallies in the country.

“You have lifted the ban on political rallies and worked to improve freedom of the press and just yesterday (Wednesday) you participated online in the summit of democracy,” she told President Samia.

She noted that her visit and all that was conducted by former US Presidents including Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama are in recognition of the existing strong partnership between the two countries.

According to her, yesterday’s event was part of strengthening the relationship between the US and Tanzania expressing her full confidence that under the leadership of President Samia, the two parties will be able to do more.

On her leadership, President Samia is applying the use of 4R philosophy that is being considered as key driver of achievements recorded so far in her two years of reign in the country’s top office.

The 4Rs stands for Reconciliation, Resilience, Reforms and Rebuilding, and serve as a necessary tool in addressing the contemporary issues affecting the country’s social, political, and economic systems.

Speaking to leaders from 19 political parties at State House in Dar es Salaam on January 3 this year, Dr Samia took stock of how her well-articulated philosophy was taking shape, three decades since Tanzania adopted multiparty democracy.

The president, who also doubles as Chairperson of the ruling CCM party, divulged before the attentively listening political leaders and other dignitaries on how cagey it was in engaging all parties towards the realisation of the envisioned philosophy.

It was exactly on the same date when she announced to lift a ban on political party rallies, saying her decision was part of implementation of her 4Rs philosophy-that she introduced immediately after assuming the presidential role on March 19 2021.

The decision to lift the ban on political rallies is in line with the implementation of recommendations of the report from the taskforce she formed to collect stakeholders’ views on multiparty democracy and on political reforms.

She also reaffirmed the government’s willingness to revive the process of rewriting the constitution, saying she will form a special team that will facilitate the way.

Her decision was highly welcomed by a cross-section of political analysts, religions and political leaders who viewed the move as a crucial step in building democracy for sustainable development.

Mr Innocent Shoo, a lecturer at the Centre for Foreign Relations (CFR), stated that President Samia’s statement that the political environment is open to any party to practice politics has many implications for Tanzania’s economic development.

“The milestone achieved today can encourage more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the country due to increased investor confidence,” he said.

Advocate Onesmo Ole Ngurumwa, Human Rights Lawyer on his part, applauded president Samia for walking her talk of defending democracy. He said that political and other public rallies are found in article 18, 19 and 20 of the constitution and hence, re-permitting them was a heroic action.

“The main legacy would thus be left by President Samia defending this constitution and initiating the rewriting of the new one,” he said.

On his side, Chairperson of Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) Freeman Mbowe said lifting the ban that has lasted for a period of seven years was crucial in building a democratic country.

He said President Samia’s decision has been well received and as the party, they will meet and discuss more before coming up with an official statement.

“Conducting political rallies is the right for all political parties and this we have been denied for a while, lifting this ban now is crucial and something that should be welcomed by all players,” he said.

For his part, the leader of ACT-Wazalendo, Zitto Kabwe said the party was pleased with President Samia’s decisions, saying the Head of State is keen on rebuilding the country.

“We have been fighting for the lift of this ban for a long time, various approaches have been used, I’m happy that we are now allowed to exercise these rights after seven years,” he said in a comment that was echoed by the Chairperson of the Civic United Front (CUF) Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, who stressed on the need to conduct peaceful rallies.

The Chairperson of the Political Parties’ Council, Juma Ali Khatibu said President Samia has shown that she is a leader who always walks her talk.

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