22 February 2014

Tanzania: Tight Security At Bunge Grounds Irksome

Dodoma — AS the Constituent Assembly waits to adopt the regulations that will guide it, some members of the public are not happy with a number of things including tight security surrounding Bunge grounds.

It is not only a matter of security alone, but major concerns are the unnecessary costs incurred to intensify such an extraordinary security.

The Special Committee on Constitution under the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHR) camping here since the Assembly started meeting here on Monday said the state of such security measures leaves questions unanswered.

"We see security reinforcement in this place, but we wonder what is all these for. Why are the Tanzanians barred from frequenting this area?, Wondered Ms Gemma Akilimali when she addressed journalists on Thursday.

According to her, the Constituent Assembly was supposed be convened at an open space, where people could have the opportunity to conveniently observe how the discussions were being handled. Contrary to the past, it is not easy to get closer to the Parliament building, let alone letting visitors in.

One must obtain special Identification Card that bears his/her picture and strictly checked with special scanners. When interviewed, Bunge officials describe the situation as normal, on reason that it is important for the members of the Constituent Assembly and the entire structures to be secured.

"I have applied for an ID for myself and other members of our Committee to get inside the debating chamber but no response has been communicated back to date. What are they trying to hide? One Dodoma resident, Mr Marcus Arbanie said.

The Committee was also up in arms with the issue of extra allowances demanded by some of the members forcing the Interim Chairman of the Assembly Mr Pandu Ameir Kificho to forward the matter to the government for action.

And even before the sub-committee of six people formed by Mr Kificho to help him brainstorm an agenda on the extra allowances and push it further, the Interim Chairman was heard telling the Assembly on Thursday that members 'would laugh' at last.

"It is absurd to hear these people raising issues like extra allowances which is purely selfishness and we want them to stop these dreams and go back to serious business that brought them here," said Mr Arbanie.

However, there is likelihood that this situation might slightly change as the regulations guiding the conduct of activities here are expected to be released early next week although there is no guarantee that state of such tight security will be revisited.

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