17 January 2013

Tanzania: From the House of Representatives

Zanzibar — IN efforts to improve efficiency and minimize police brutality, members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives have advised that police officers train abroad particularly in handling suspects, investigations and respect of human rights.

"We have been receiving reports about violations of human rights by police officers. They unnecessarily beat up unarmed suspects and torture them. Their actions are questionable and police investigations remain poor," Abdallah Juma Abdallah (CUF-Chonga) said.

Mr Hija Hassan Hija (CUF-Kiwani) and Mr Makame Mshimba Mbarouk (CCM-Kitope) joined their colleagues to say that recent incidents in both Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland have proved that police need more training.

Minister of State (in charge of police affairs in Zanzibar), Mr Mohamed Aboud Mohamed, said police have been doing great work and that there were isolated incidents where police officers violated their ethics and laws.

No one is above the law, he said and agreed that more training is needed for the country's police officers but currently the government does not have enough funds to train them abroad in handling investigations.

Representatives need seminars on GNU

ZANZIBAR First Vice-president, Mr Seif Sharif Hamad and the Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Idd do not have equal status before the Isles' president, Mtambwe representative, Mr Salim Abdallah Hamad revealed his doubt in the House.

He said that although the first and second vice- presidents are both advisors to the president, the wording in section 39 of the Zanzibar Constitution gives more power to the second vice-president.

But in response to the worry from the Representative, Zanzibar Minister for Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Mr Abubabakar Khamis Bakar said both vice-presidents are advisors to the president although they have different roles.

"Maybe in the future we ought to be more careful with the use of proper Kiswahili words," he said. However, the debate prompted Mr Ismali Jussa Ladu (CUF Mji-Mkongwe) and Mr Makame Mshimba Mabrouk (CCM-Kitope) to advise the speaker and the government on having seminars on the formation of the government of national unity (GNU).

"This is a sign that even some of the representatives in this House still need education about the formation and function of the GNU. It is high time we are helped to know through seminars," Jussa advised.

Water blues hurt Mtambwe residents

REPRESENTATIVE for Mtambwe in Pemba, Mr Salim Abdallah Hamad, has raised concern over delays by the government to implement its promise of making sure that residents in the constituency get water.

"During the 2011/2012, the government promised to supply safe water in Mtambwe north, but it has not been implemented to date," Hamad complained and asked why the government has not fulfilled its promise. In response to the concerns, Deputy Minister for Land and Water, Mr Haji Mwadini Makame admitted to the delay in improving water supply in the area, attributing it to huge demand of water.

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