Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

23 February 2014

Tanzania: Time CA Members Did Away With Egocentric Attitude

TANZANIA is going through a historic moment which will lead to official endorsement of a new constitution.

The vital document is the Supreme Law that appeals for serious engagement in the whole process of preparation.

The document will remain valid for many years to come because through the constitution the nation will continue to cherish peace, stability, good governance and respect for human rights enjoyed since independence.

Different social groups including academicians, politicians, clerics, civil society organisations among others took the trouble to identify 'brains' out of which the Union and Zanzibar presidents nominated members of the Special Constituent Assembly tasked to deliberate on the subject on behalf of the population.

It would have not been possible for all of us to take part in the session but those entrusted on our behalf are expected to demonstrate the highest degree of patriotism and commitment for a successful accomplishment within the agreed time schedule of 70 or 90 days.

However, some disappointments have been witnessed early in the recent past. The controversy was centred on allowances. Demands for additional allowances seem to have overtaken the main agenda to the extent that some of the legislators remain inflexible, pushing for more money over the endorsed 300,000/- per day.

There is no shred of pride in the debate about claims for extra allowances. The nation is facing a myriad of challenges including the need to improve social services and the urgent settlement of outstanding payments for school teachers among others.

We are thankful to majority of the committed legislators who have shown the audacity to declare their readiness to do the job even without allowances.

Some of the legislators were quoted this week as saying that the most important thing was not the amount of allowances given but rather the grand opportunity offered and the honour bestowed on them to become part of the team that formed the constitution.

On the other hand, there are those who seem to be totally inclined to continue pushing for more allowances considering the opportunity as the quickest mechanism to offset poverty and jump into prosperity. One thing about money is that, it is never enough and not necessarily a guarantee for joy.

In every corner, in rural and urban areas alike, the issue of additional allowances seems to have provoked anger and resentment to the extent of prompting questions about the credibility of some of the entrusted representatives.

In fact, continued demand for extra payments is a mockery to those who receive 300,000/- as monthly wages after long hours of donkey work. It is time the Wabunge thought about wise spending of the resources in the framework of patriotism instead of pushing for hurtful egocentric attitude.

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