Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Chadema Disowns MP's Anti-Kikwete Remarks

Dodoma — CHADEMA Vice-Chairman, Mr Said Amour Arfi (Mpanda Urban), on Wednesday distanced his party from a statement by the Singida East MP, Tundu Lissu, who on Tuesday vowed to move an impeachment motion against President Jakaya Kikwete.

Mr Arfi accused Mr Lissu of breaching the rules governing the application of the Parliamentary Immunities, Powers and Privileges Act, 1988. The Singida East legislator was contesting proceedings of the Parliamentary Immunities, Powers and Privileges committee which is probing allegations he made in July, criticising the appointment of High Court judges.

Mr Lissu on Tuesday asked the Speaker to make public proceedings of the committee. He threatened to move a motion seeking impeachment of President Kikwete upon failure to make the proceedings public. "I want to put the records clear that what Lissu said on Tuesday is not the position of Chadema. We have nothing to do with Mr Lissu's statement.

"After all, the proposed motion is bound to fail because it needs to be supported by at least two thirds of members of the National Assembly. We are the minority in the House, therefore we cannot win," he said. Mr Arfi further said the remarks made by their colleague were unfortunate.

"Relevant organs in Chadema will discuss the matter and ensure such a thing does not occur again," he said. The Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Privileges, Ethics and Powers, Brigadier General (rtd) Hassan Ngwilizi (Mlalo - CCM), was quoted by a section of media yesterday warning them of reporting matters being probed by the committee.

He said that though Article 100 of the Constitution gives the National Assembly powers to discuss matters before any committee, but standing orders provides for proceedings of the Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers committee to be held in camera.

"The seventh annexe, clause 3 of the Parliamentary Standing Orders, 2007 edition, has set up conditions on which committees' tasks will be held in camera," he explained. On July 13, this year, Mr Lissu who is also the Opposition Chief Whip, claimed that the appointment of some High Court judges did not follow laid down procedures, creating room for incompetence.

The remarks prompted the Attorney General, Judge Frederick Werema, to ask Lissu to withdraw his statement since it was "manifestly" offensive to the judiciary and against the Parliamentary Standing Orders. However, Mr Lissu refused to retract his remarks on the grounds that the Parliamentary Standing Orders governing proceedings in the House had not been followed.

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