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Tanzania Is Still Undemocratic, Says Retired Chief Justice

TOMRIC News Agency (Dar es Salaam), 5 May 2000

Dar Es Salaam - Tanzania's retired Chief Justice Francis Nyalali has said Tanzania has some distance to go in making the basic principles of democracy operational.

He made this observation at the occasion hosted by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) in Dar Es Salaam on issues related to press freedom and democracy. He said although Tanzania has since re-introduced multiparty democracy in 1995, taking steps in placing basic principles of democracy a reality, the country is still having some distance to go in making such principles fully operational in the conduct of public affairs. He said the basic principles of democracy which Tanzania has not implemented fully include free and fair elections, independent judiciary, respect of human rights and dissemination of information through independent media. "I can say Tanzania has not achieved in implementing these principles," he said.

He however noted that after practically thirty years of one party state, it was impossible to expect that Tanzania would have become a fully fledged and smooth functioning multiparty democracy after its first elections in 1995. He observed also that if it had not been for the founding late Julius Nyerere, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) was unlikely to have opted to shift from the mono-party system. He said recommendations made by the Commission which was formed by the second phase government under President Ali Hassan Mwinyi had established that the country's constitutional order was in violation of the four basic elements of democracy including autonomous judiciary and respect of human rights. "Despite that these principles have been enshrined in the constitution, this is not enough," he said. Political and Human rights bodies cite the question political impasse in Zanzibar as the area where Tanzania has failed to observe democracy and human rights in particular. Following the on-going political impasse in Zanzibar, experts are advising the government of Republic of Tanzania to establish human rights commissions.

The suggestion was made at the USAID, Friedrich Erbert Stiftung and UNDP sponsored seminar in Zanzibar by the State Attorney Ahmed Miskry the commission was needed to create awareness among public and government officials on the need to respect human rights. He also said the commission should be free to take part in politics and that human rights should be taught in schools to make children aware of their rights. While the opposition Civic United front (CUF) party feel that both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar do not give chance for political parties to function freely and tend to control courts, the ruling CCM in Zanzibar say that all the principals of violations of human rights were buried in several years ago.

Potential US Investors Seek To Start Ventures In Tanzania-TIC TOMRIC Agency (May 5, 2000) Dar Es Salaam-The Director of investments at the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), Mr. Emmanuel Ole Naiko, has said that the just-ended US-Tanzania investors Forum which took place at the US Embaasy in London, has impressed several potential American ventures to start their projects in Tanzania.

He told the media here yesterday that the forum which was organized and facilitated by the US Embassy in Tanzania, has provided the US investors with a clear report of Tanzania's investment richness. "We have explained to them the real image about Tanzania investment climate and cleared issues they had earlier complained about the country," he said. He did not say on the exactly figure of ventures which would invest in the near future, but he said the forum has interested many foreign companies to invest in Tanzania.

According to Mr. Naiko complaints which his delegation had cleared include on high electricity tariffs, corruption,, tax structure, bureaucracy in investments and clearing imports and exports.

He said: "They were informed that most of these hurdles will be addressed soon." According to him, the similar forum is being prepared and would take place in Paris France which would carry the same message that Tanzania is the best place to set projects in Africa. Since its establishment, the TIC has been fighting to increase foreign capital in the country.

Reports affirm that Tanzania became the leading recipient of capital flows in Southern Africa. Tanzania received slightly higher than 10 per cent of the total flow of South African investment capital in the entire SADC area for 1996 through to 1998. According to the TIC, strategies that have been adopted to implement action program, especially the new investment act of 1997, to some extend have started to yield its results. Following the implementation of the act, as of March 1999 the TIC registered a total of 1250 projects whereby 32.2 percent of them being joint venture projects, 19.8 foreign projects and 48.0 percent local projects. The US Embassy in Dar Es Salaam has said that it will give a brief on the outcome of the US-Tanzania forum in London next Monday.