16 January 2013

Tanzania: Review Process Should Listen to the Masses


The On — The ongoing Constitutional Review process makes Tanzania progress politically, as it prepares to have better laws before the next general elections in 2015. This could be a step ahead and a unique success for the fourth phase ruling under President Jakaya Kikwete.

President Kikwete is expected to make this historical event, the most successful in his ruling epoch, taking into consideration that he will be the only president that managed to process a new constitution.

Credit also goes to a group of Members of Parliament from the opposition, who spoke in Parliament and reminded the president of a promise he made during his re-election campaign in 2010 that he would bring to fruition the issue of constitutional review.

In April 2012 following the appointment of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) large number from the majority of people spoken to feel many things that are of prominence and critical need to be discussed.

So far, about 300,000 people interviewed, according to the CRC figures, have spoken out what they want to see happen.

Apart from these, different political parties have already delivered their views of what they expect from the news constitution.

What is unfortunate is that only political issues are in the main foray.

Very little exposure has been given to critical issues like free mandatory Primary, Secondary and University education.

The right to having clean water, health services, infrastructure, environment, easy and affordable financial services among others.

Last year, the country experienced increased economic hardships and yet there are fundamentals that can actually correct imbalances as the country continues to discover gas and more mineral reserves whose value can pull the country out of political doldrums.

These issues are not being given prominence in the Constitutional Review process.

Politicians have dominated the debate with politics and the majority of Tanzanians who are interested in the issues that affect them directly could lose out on the process.

Constitution Review while it can address political concerns, should equally handle critical and basic socio-economic realities.

The majority of the Tanzanians are in the younger age brackets and want education, jobs, access to finance, agriculture, infrastructure and a bright future. Please listen to them!

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