4 November 2012

Tanzania: Ministers, Union Top MPs' Views on Constitution

Photo: The Daily News
Chairman of the Constitution Review Commission, retired Judge Joseph Warioba (center), exchanges views with members of the public (file photo).

Dodoma — APPOINTMENTS of cabinet ministers who are not Members of Parliament and structure of the union between Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar are among issues that dominated the Constitution Review Commission meeting with lawmakers here.

The CRC, under its chairperson, Judge (Rtd) Joseph Warioba, held a meeting with lawmakers yesterday to collect their views as part of series of meetings held in the country towards the process of re-writing the country's new constitution. Speakers who contributed were of view that in a bid to create checks and balances between the executive and the legislature since MPs are part of the latter should not be appointed as ministers.

The MPs also proposed that ministers and other Presidential appointees be approved by the National Assembly as it is done with the Prime Minister. Mr Deogratias Ntukamazina (Ngara-CCM) was of the view that the country has a good number of experts who are able to perform ministerial jobs.

"Ministers are part of the government therefore they should not be MPs. The President should not be limited to appoint ministers who are legislators. "However, if the President appoints an MP to ministerial post then the MP should resign from the position to be able to perform his/her duties effectively," Mr Ntukamazina, a retired civil servant said.

Mr Moses Machali (Kasuku Urban-NCCR-Mageuzi) noted that the authority of the President should be reduced. "Under the current system, the executive seem to dominate other organs of the state namely the judiciary and the legislature. This is because the president who is the head of the executive also appoints the Chief Justice and Clerk of the National Assembly," the MP charged.

During the same meeting, MPs were divided on the structure of the union between Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar. There are those who called for formation of three governments and others who suggested that the current system should be maintained. Mr Zitto Kabwe (Kigoma North-CHADEMA) proposed for a structure that would see the union be headed by one president who will be assisted by two Prime Ministers with executive powers in both parts of the union.

"The new constitution should also provide that the President will be the head of state responsible for union matters such as defence while the Prime Ministers will act on matters pertaining to respective part of the union," he suggested. Mr Mohamed Habib Mnyaa (Mkanyageni MP-CUF) said Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar should each have its own government in addition to a union government.

Ms Zakhia Meghji (Nominated-CCM) supported the current structure of the union, saying it has helped to unite people from Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar. "I for one was born in Zanzibar but married in Tanzania Mainland and my children were also born here.

I don't see any problem with the current structure of the union, otherwise changing it will only help to separate us," she said. The views were also shared with Dole MP, Mr Sylvester Mabumba (CCM) who suggested that economies of both parts of the union should be harmonized so that the people can realize the importance of being in the union.

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