6 February 2013

Tanzania: Chadema MPs to Boycott Standing Committee Meet - Slaa

CHAMA cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) will not allow its members of parliament (MPs) to attend a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee to deliberate the chaotic events that rocked the august House, claiming that they will not receive fair judgment.

Chadema Secretary General, Dr Wilbroad Slaa told reporters in Dar es Salaam that his party was supporting the action taken by opposition MPs, opposing the decision by Deputy Speaker Job Ndugai.

"If the speaker will keep on disallowing a private motion by MP Mnyika to be tabled, Chadema will take it to the highest court, the 'wananchi' court," said Dr Slaa. He added that contrary to the parliamentary role to monitor and advise the government, the Parliament is not allowing any criticism aimed at improving the government's activities.

"It is high time the country gets a speaker who is not from any political party, to avoid such discrimination of opposition parties," he said. On Monday, drama prevailed in the House mainly precipitated by a section of the Opposition Camp that led to a war of words and shouting that prompted Deputy Speaker Job Ndugai to prematurely postpone the session and call for a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, to deliberate on the chaotic events.

Before adjourning the session, Mr Ndugai had accepted the government's request to dock a private motion by Mr John Mnyika (Ubungo-CHADEMA) seeking the improvement of water and sewerage services in the country's commercial city.

There were ugly scenes in the debating chamber when opposition MPs ran amok after Prof Maghembe countered Mr Mnyika's motion and wished the House to debate the State's motion.

There were several rants and bickering as MPs stood up in protest, claiming that the Opposition was being unfairly treated by the chair. The chaotic scenes also made it impossible for the Attorney General, Frederick Warema, to intervene and clarify on some issues.

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