Wednesday, June 5, 2013

MPs express mixed feelings over proposed Constitution

Peter Serukamba
Mixed feelings arose in the House yesterday over Monday’s Constitutional draft launch some lauding the changes while others expressing their doubts.

On the side of those who oppose it, Member of Parliament for Kigoma-Urban Peter Serukamba (CCM) acknowledged that the draft contains a number of good aspects, saying that they are not practical and at best, difficult to implement.

For example, Serukamba does not support the three-tier government arguing that it is only going to break the federation.

“Accepting the three governments system is encouraging Union break up,” he claimed and further suggested that the three government structure will considerably increase administration costs to be covered by a coffers that is very limited and that being the case then according to him, it follows that other relevant and time sensitive areas will be sidelined or reduced.

Lawmaker for Urambo- West Prof Juma Kapuya (CCM) also cautioned over the three governments warning that the nation should tread softly since there is the risk of weakening the Union as Serukamba warned earlier.

Prof Kapuya is also against the reduction of presidential power but commended the restriction of ministers saying he supports their having no political affiliations noting that the effect will be increased efficiency and accountability as well as fair distribution of country’s resources.

Energy and Minerals Deputy Minister George Simbachawene, is also uncertain over the practicality of a three-tier government, he too fears that it will only lead to the breakup of the Union.

He said the system may be implemented to satisfy the Union stakeholders but basically it may lead to the breakup of the Union.

The Deputy Minister also said that the changes have taken away the expectations of some people especially politicians who want to become ministers.

Of those in favour of the draft, Stone Town lawmaker Ibrahim Sanya (CUF) called upon Tanzanians to welcome the draft calling it ‘good’ and ‘well intended’.

He too highlighted the fact that minister won’t have political association to be a commendable aspect and he too is in support of the three government structure saying ‘they’ have been waiting for it, for a long time. Mustafa Mkulo (Kilosa, CCM) praised the Commission for incorporating education qualifications for MPs saying to have efficient representation in Parliament the representatives must be educationally qualified.

Mkulo, who is a former Finance minister, supported the three government structure apparently because Zanzibar will now be more committed to the Union government.

Special Seats MP Mariam Msabaha (Chadema) supported the removal of the special seats but warned that female MPs must not be suppressed.

Martha Mlata (Special Seats, CCM), is also in favour of omitting the special seats MPs because according to her it imposes hardships to the legislators noting that the new system exerted in the draft is in favour of female who under the new draft will be assigned constituencies.

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