10 January 2013

Tanzania: Mbatia Supports Federation in New Katiba

TANZANIA should become a federal state under the union structure, the Chairman of the National Convention for Construction and Reform-Mageuzi (NCCR-Mageuzi), Mr James Mbatia, has said.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam, Mr Mbatia said the proposal is in the document submitted by the party to the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) since November, last year.

Mr Mbatia noted that in the meeting with the CRC on Monday, the party emphasized its stand on the matter and that the idea was to revive Tanganyika with a self-governing status just like Zanzibar and the two be united by a central (federal) government.

"We want the reinstatement of the government of Tanganyika so that its people can be recognized through their government like those of Zanzibar," he said. He said that while Zanzibar remains with its national identities such as a flag, national anthem, president and a constitution, Tanganyika does not exist in the current constitution.

"We had a union of two states of Tanganyika and Zanzibar but as of now we are talking of Zanzibar and Tanzania Mainland. There is no country called Tanzania Mainland, that is why we are pressing for reinstatement of Tanganyika in the new constitution," he said.

In other words, NCCR-Mageuzi has seconded the Civic United Front (CUF) which recently proposed a three-tier government to CRC comprising of Zanzibar, Tanganyika and the union in the new constitution.

Mr Mbatia noted that the two (Tanganyika and Zanzibar) governments should be for the purpose of recognition but will not be states under the union. "The federal government should be formed under an internationally recognized agreement which will be presented and be registered by authorities responsible for registration of international agreements in the United Nations," he said.

The CUF National Chairman, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, was recently quoted as saying that under the new union each government should deal with issues within its jurisdiction. However, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) leaders including President Ali Mohamed Shein of Zanzibar have repeatedly vowed to defend the current structure of the union arguing it is the best for the unity of the country and its people.

In another development, Mr Mbatia noted that his party was against dual citizenship in the new constitution. Mr Mbatia noted that the party was worried with the possibilities of people coming into the country and seek to be citizens with the intent of looting from the country.

"A citizen of Tanzania should not be allowed to be a citizen of any other country and the conditions must remain the same that when a citizen seeks another country's citizenship will have to renounce Tanzanian citizenship," he said.

He claimed that the situation would help in safeguarding the status and dignity of Tanzanians in all spheres such as education, culture and governance to ensure sustainable development plans by the government to its people.

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