30 January 2013

Tanzania: 'Katiba Should Protect Natural Resources'

THE new constitution should limit foreign investors on the kind of investments they can make and ensure that the government has majority shares in all the investments.

A veteran politician, long serving and retired legislator, Dr Chrisant Mzindakaya, said this in Dar es Salaam shortly after submitting his views to the Constitution Review Commission (CRC). Dr Mzindakaya, who closed the chapter in the commission's sessions with dignitaries, noted that new constitution should give government exclusive ownership of all natural resources.

"We should limit investors in the new constitution to reverse the current situation where they are engaging themselves in petty trading, which could be left for ordinary Tanzanians," he said. He noted that Tanzanians are suffering from inferiority complex when it comes to ownership of natural resources, where foreign investors have invested heavily.

"The constitution must stop the inferiority complex among Tanzanians, people should be given power over their resources and be able to question when they feel that they are being undermined in favour of investors," he said. He further proposed that the constitution should limit shares from foreign investments in natural resources such as minerals at 46 per cent.

In another development, Dr Mzindakaya noted that the constitution should be written in a simple and clear form to be easily understood by ordinary citizens. "We do not need a constitution which will segregate ordinary citizens, all people should be able to understand what is written therein and this will be possible by being simple and avoiding technical language," he said.

He also noted that much emphasis should be on the nation and its people as opposed to politics and leaders. "We need a constitution that will indicate a real rebirth of the country and have focus on people and their country. It should be a constitution engineered to fit the present and future times," he said.

Commenting on the Union, Dr Mzindakaya noted that the current one and its structure should be embraced in the new constitution. He added that the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar has been so unique and successful, adding that the world looks at it as a model.

"If we allow it to break apart we will pose a security risk. The constitution should embrace the current one but it should put in place a special unit that will deal with Union matters," he said.

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