11 February 2013

Tanzania: Chadema Presses for Water Crisis Solution

THE opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) has threatened to demonstrate to the Ministry of Water offices in Dar es Salaam to demand answers to Dar es Salaam water woes.

The party's legislator for Ubungo, Mr John Mnyika, said this in the city at a public rally which brought together party supporters at Temeke Mwisho grounds.

The party had organized the rally in a bid to give room for MPs to clear the air following the recent confusion that loomed in the just ended National Assembly sessions in Dodoma.

The rally started with a demonstration from Ubungo where a section of members and leaders used cars and motorcycles and later joined other members to walk from Veterinari area to Temeke Mwisho grounds.

One of the issues that brought confusion between the government and the Opposition wing was the move by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Job Ndugai, to rubbish a private motion on the water situation in Dar es Salaam which was to be tabled by Mr Mnyika.

Mr Ndugai acted on the request by the Water Minister, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, who wanted the motion to be removed as the government was working on all stated water related challenges. The minister had told the House that plans were already underway to more than double water supply in the city from the current 300 million litres per day by 2015.

"We are asking the Minister for Water, Prof Maghembe, to come out and publicly tell the residents of this city on how water related challenges are dealt with. If he fails to do so in two weeks from now we will demonstrate to his offices," he said. Mr Mnyika claimed that he was not satisfied by the government statement that it was dealing with the challenges facing the commercial city in as far as lack of enough safe and clean water is concerned.

In his nine-page motion, Mnyika asked the government to take to the House, a special water plan, geared to improve clean and safe water, sewerage infrastructures in Dar es Salaam, which is currently home to more than 4.5 million people.

Mnyika said the metropolitan city is facing serious shortage of clean and safe water, putting millions of city dwellers at risk of contracting water-borne diseases as they are forced to use water which is unfit for human consumption.

In another development, the Party's Secretary General, Dr Wilbroad Slaa, termed the move by the Speaker, Ms Anna Makinda, to dissolve the Parastatal Organisations Accounts Committee (POAC) as unconstitutional. Dr Slaa said at the same gathering that such a move should have emanated from the Speaker but as per the parliamentary standing orders it should have been decided by the MPs themselves.

"We (Chadema) do not recognize the move to dissolve the POAC because proper procedures were not followed," he said. Dr Slaa wondered as to why Ms Makinda thought of dissolving such a crucial committee which had made the Tanzanian parliament a role model.

The Kigoma North MP, Mr Zitto Kabwe, who used to be the committee's chairman also cried foul, saying that the government was not happy with the watchdog role played by the committee. He pointed an accusing finger to Speaker and her deputy for bad leadership, saying that his party will take to the House a motion of no confidence to both leaders.

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