Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Rewriting of Constitution On Track - Prime Minister

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Tanzanians have, in increasing numbers, taken to social media to express their views on the constitution.

Dodma — THE Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, has reiterated that the ongoing process of rewriting the constitution will end in 2014 as it was planned and that the country will go into 2015 general elections with a new constitution.

He urged Tanzanians to keep hopes alive on the process, saying that the Constitutional Review Commission Chairman Judge Joseph Warioba has assured him on that. Responding to questions during the Spot Question Time, Mr Pinda wondered why some people are worried about the completion of the process.

He was responding to a question by Mr Freeman Mbowe (Hai-CHADEMA) who expressed worry over the completion of constitution rewriting process in time and demanded the government's position on that. Mr Mbowe, who is also the Leader of the Official Opposition in the House, also demanded that the government allow some laws to be worked upon to make 2015 general election more successful should the process fail to be completed in time.

Among others, Mr Mbowe stipulated laws guiding elections, including permanent voter register as some of the laws that needed immediate overhaul. "Elections are a very sensitive issue and yet there is no guarantee that the process would come into place in time; why can't the government see it wise to rectify some of the laws guiding elections in case the process fail to be competed in the specified period,"? Mr Mbowe asked.

Responding, the Premier said that the government had high hopes on the exercise and thus there was no need to have such worries. 'I fail to get the logic why Mr Mbowe is worried about the completion of the constitution rewriting process in time. We need to have hopes that by 2014, the process would become successful...I just want to ensure you that the process will go as it was planned," Premier Pinda said.

He, however, said that in case the process fails to be in place as it was previously planned, the government would think on how to incorporate some of the issues, especially those that guide elections as recommended by Mr Mbowe. Premier Pinda also packed down claims that the government was holding back people's right to participate in various by-elections for permanent voter register went unimproved for a long time.

Mr Pinda said that improvement of the book was monitored by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and that the commission has been doing that to ensure that every person fulfils his or her constitutional right of participating in elections.

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InFocus

Tanzania Constitutional Review Taken to Social Media

Tanzanians have, in increasing numbers, taken to social media to express their views on the constitution.

Nearly 28,000 people have visited the Constitution Review Commission's Facebook page and aired their views, Chairman Joseph Warioba has said. The government has been actively ... Read more »