Head of state: Jakaya Kikwete
Head of government: Mizengo Peter Pinda
Head of Zanzibar government: Ali Mohamed Shein (replaced Amani Abeid Karume in November)
Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes
Population: 45 million
Life expectancy: 56.9 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f): 112/100 per 1,000
Adult literacy: 72.6 per cent
Government actions undermined freedom of expression. The police and other law enforcement officials accused of committing human rights violations were not brought to justice and impunity for perpetrators of sexual and other forms of gender-based violence continued.
President Kikwete was re-elected for a five-year term in general elections held at the end of October. The main opposition challenger, Willibrod Slaa, and his party, Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), alleged election irregularities and disputed the validity of the presidential result and some of the parliamentary election results.
In July, a public referendum approved the formation of a national government of unity in Zanzibar. The referendum sought to address past political disagreements between the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, and the opposition Civic United Front, which had led to violence between their supporters in Zanzibar.
The general elections and the referendum in Zanzibar were generally peaceful. However, delays in announcing some of the election results led to heightened public tension and protests in a number of areas.
Freedom of expression
In the run-up to the general elections the government threatened to either ban or deregister two newspapers - Mwananchi and MwanaHALISI. Government officials sent letters to the newspapers alleging that they were publishing materials with the intention of “inciting chaos and breaking peace” in the country. The government letters did not specify any particular articles deemed by the government to be offensive. By the end of the year the government had not banned or deregistered either of the two newspapers.
A number of journalists complained of intimidation and harassment by some government and public officials because they had criticized the conduct of these officials or the policies and practices of the government.
The government did not institute investigations into alleged human rights abuses committed by police and private company guards in July 2009 in Loliondo, Ngorongoro district, northern Tanzania. According to reports, an unknown number of women were raped by police officers and guards; families were separated and up to 3,000 people from the Maasai pastoralist community were forcibly evicted. These alleged abuses were committed in the context of an operation to evict these people from their homes and grazing land ostensibly in order to conserve a wildlife protection area.
Throughout the year there were reports of unlawful killings, torture and other ill-treatment by the police and other law enforcement officials in the course of security operations in different parts of the country. No investigations into these allegations were carried out, and those responsible were not brought to justice.
Violence against women
Sexual and other forms of gender-based violence remained widespread, particularly domestic violence. Few perpetrators were brought to justice.
Despite a law prohibiting female genital mutilation (FGM), the practice remained prevalent in certain areas such as the Dodoma region in central Tanzania. According to the Legal and Human Rights Centre - a local NGO - implementation of the law prohibiting FGM was hampered by widespread ignorance of the law, enduring traditional beliefs and the lack of public confidence in the criminal justice process.
Discrimination - attacks on albino people
There were no reports of albino people being killed for their body parts during the year, although there were up to eight attempted killings, including two mutilations. Some human rights defenders working to promote the human rights of people with albinism reported threats and intimidation from suspected perpetrators of human rights abuses against albino people.