9 January 2013

Tanzania: Proposed Bills in Isles Get Poor Comment

ZANZIBAR House of Representatives has expressed disappointment over low turn-out of people to comment on the proposed bills scheduled for tabling in the next session of the House next Wednesday.

"In fact the response has been very poor, contrary to our expectation. I received only one written comment on my desk," said Yahya Hamad, the House Clerk. The collection of the views ended on January 4, last year.

He said insufficient knowledge could be one of the major reasons for the low turnout of people to give views and have their say on the four proposed bills before the laws are discussed and approved by the legislators.

Two weeks ago, authorities from the Zanzibar House of Representatives announced new process in having land laws, and that individuals are now allowed to discuss before Members of the House debate and approve.

Mr Hamad said the objectives of the new development is to widen democracy by allowing more people have their say about the proposed bills, in addition to the traditional representatives (MPs) speaking in parliament entirely on behalf of the electorate.

The four proposed bills to be tabled in the next session include the Zanzibar Maritime Transport Act No.5 of 2006'; the Zanzibar Shipping Corporation; establishment of the Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC); and a bill to amend the political parties (Grant of Subvention) Act No. 6 of 1977.

People were supposed to get a copy of the bill from the office of the clerk or buy at the government press shop, in both Unguja and Pemba Islands. According to the House lawyer, Mr Mussa Kombo, increased participation of the Public would help legislators when debating the bills in the House.

Mr Himid Choko, Public Relations Officer (PRO) said at the meeting that already the House has started involving different stakeholders in discussions on various issues and bills brought in the House.

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