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We Will Not Be Intimidated, Tanzania's Bashiru Ally Tells USA

The secretary-general of Tanzania's ruling party, CCM, Bashiru Ally has dismissed recent allegations by the USA against Tanzania's government for systemic violence and irregularities prior to the country's by-elections held on August 12, 2018, as intimidation and interference. That was reported by some media sources on August 19, 2018.

The USA's allegations included refusal by Tanzania's National Elections Commission to register some opposition candidates, intimidation and unnecessary arrests of opposition candidates by police, among others.

According to the reports, Bashiru Ally dismissed the allegations on August 18, 2018, without giving any proof for their incorrectness, by simply saying his government will not be intimidated, can not be intimidated, and will not accept interference in governance.

But then, the response of the secretary-general of the ruling party does not make sense, especially when it is not only the USA that is making allegations related to violations of human rights against the government of Tanzania, but local human rights groups, opposition parties, religious bodies, and many other local organizations as well. The allegations also include bias by the country's police that allegedly behaves as if it were an organ of the ruling party.

When allegations related to violations of human rights are made by whoever, local and foreign, against a government, then a responsible government ought to take the allegations seriously and respond with proof that refute them if it says the allegations are groundless.

Intimidation and interference only become relevant when a government that supports and respects human rights is for no reason criticized and/or told what to do. In the case of Tanzania that may not be the case at the moment!

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