Tanzanian President Allocates One Day Per Month to Personally Hear Citizens Concerns

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand. As the Africa Desk Chief for Atlas, her expertise spans conflict, politics, and history. She is also the Editor for The ModernInsurgent and has interests in yoga and meditation.

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What You Need to Know:

Tanzania’s first female President, Samia Suluhu Hassan has announced this week her intent to meet with citizens at the offices of her party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, one day per month to hear their concerns personally. 

Depending on where she is located, citizens will be able to attend meetings with the President in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, and Dodoma. 

The Details:

Hassan’s approach follows that of former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi. Mwinyi regularly met with citizens to hear their concerns while serving as Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s Chairperson as well as while serving as President between 1985 and 1995. 

While the exact date of these meetings have not been released as of yet, Paul Makonda, the Ideology and Publicity Secretary of Hassan’s party stated, “this is a rare and unique opportunity for citizens to engage with their leader; any citizen who comes to present grievance to the President will be required to have information that their issue has not been addressed by the lower level of authority.” 

So, What Now?:

This move by President Hassan, who took power in March of 2021, indicates a willingness to engage with the public on a much more personal level than is normally expected of a President. However, with Tanzania holding a population of 63.59 million, it is likely only a fraction of the citizens’ grievances will be heard. Furthermore, Hassan’s party, which has ruled since the nation’s independence in 1961 is seen by many political analysts as authoritarian. Thus, the move to meet with citizens will likely serve as a means to justify Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s consolidation of power in the country.