Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Speaker Rebukes 'Unruly' MPs

Dodoma — THE Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Anne Makinda, has expressed concern over recent incidents in the House including making derogatory comments against government leaders.

"I am getting numerous phone calls. Many people are concerned over the nasty behaviour of some Members of Parliament. "These MPs have tarnished the image of Parliament.

The people are losing confidence in this institution. Let us reverse this trend," Ms Makinda told the National Assembly shortly after questions and answers session looking vividly disturbed.

On Monday, the House witnessed a cocktail of ugly incidents that included trading of swipe, name calling and boos. Singida-East MP, Mr Tundu Lissu (Chadema) described the budget session as "the silly season". He also said the government and the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) were silly.

Ubungo MP, Mr John Mnyika (Chadema) on Tuesday was bgiven marching orders after refusing to retract his derogatory comments against President Jakaya Kikwete, the Parliament and CCM. He said the president was weak, while the parliament and CCM were fools.

Meanwhile, there are plans to review the time-table for parliamentary budget sessions so that they end by June 30, the National Assembly Speaker, Ms Anne Makinda, said yesterday. Ms Makinda said the proposed move was aimed at making government ministries and local authorities secure funds early to finance their operations.

"This is the practice in most Commonwealth Parliaments," the Speaker said. At present budget sessions in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda start in the second week of June and end during the last week of August. The Speaker also said the Finance and Appropriation bills would be moved in the National Assembly after presentation of budgets of all ministries.

Earlier the bills were scheduled to be moved in the House after the passing of the government's budget as was the case last year. Ms Makinda said the budget is scheduled to be passed on Friday evening by roll-call voting.

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