Dodoma — Members of Parliament should always put national interest first and stop regarding their election in the House as a get rich fast venture.
The Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Anne Makinda said this during the one day seminar organised by the Tanzania Women Cross-Party Platform (TWCP-Platform).
Ms Makinda also reiterated that she will not stand for re-election during next year's general elections.
"Some people get in politics thinking that they will be rich...don't come here with that kind of mindset, start looking for projects that can generate money for you.
You will come here and then tomorrow when you are retiring, you leave empty handed," she explained. She advised members with interest to participate in the 2015 general elections to ensure they start projects that will generate money not only to cover election expenses but also a way of earning money at the end of their political careers.
She said a lot of women were unable to participate in election for lack of money and those whose career in politics have ended wallowed in poverty. Her remarks came amid demands by members of the Constituent Assembly meeting in Dodoma, for an increase on their allowance from 300,000/- per day.
A special committee has since been formed by the Interim Chairman of the Assembly Mr Pandu Ameir Kificho to follow up on the matter, which has strongly been opposed by members of the public. Ms Makinda added that she plans to train young political aspirants especially those without any income so that they can establish income generating projects, as the older generation retires from politics.
"Our time has passed, we will not be running again, we are leaving the opportunity to you, the young generations," she explained. She also cautioned women members of the Constituent Assembly to behave properly to avoid going home with HIV/Aids, which she said they could contract if they engaged in reckless sexual behavour.
"Why should you come to the Constituent Assembly and go home with problems. Don't allow yourselves to be used in any way. We must liberate ourselves," she appealed.
She added that it was the responsibility of the current national assembly to ensure that the number of women representation increases from the current 36 per cent to 50 per cent as stipulated in the African Union Solemn declarations to which the government of Tanzania has assented.
In her opening remarks, the TWCP Platform Chairperson Ms Anna Abdallah said women members in the Constituent Assembly constitutes 40.5 per cent which is 255 women of the total 637 members of the assembly.
"We must strive to push women agendas to ensure they are well articulated in the new constitution. We must love each other and refuse the notion that we are our own enemies," she urged.