Hon. Cecil David Mwambe, in 2015 General Elections, was elected a Member of Parliament for Ndanda Constituency under the sponsorship of Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo, (CHADEMA). On 15th February 2020 denounced his membership in CHADEMA and defected to Chama Cha Mapinduzi, (CCM). As per the provisions of Article 71(1)(f) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977 as amended (URT Constitution), since Hon. Mwambe had ceased to be a member of the party to which he belonged when he was elected to be a member of parliament, he therefore ceased to be a member of parliament and thus his seat became vacant.

However, without any good cause, the Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly declined to declare Hon. Mwambe’s seat was vacant despite a written request by the Secretary General of CHADEMA. He even went to an extent of publicly acknowledging Hon. Mwambe as a member of parliament after defecting.

Mr. Paul Revocatus Kaunda filed a constitutional petition challenging that blatant violation of the URT Constitution. This being a strategic case, Center for Strategic Litigation provided financial support to Mr. Kaunda by paying for his legal fees.

The petition did not survive the preliminary stages. It was knocked out for allegedly being frivolous and vexatious and that the petitioner should have taken up this matter as an election petition under Article 83(1)(b) of the URT Constitution.