Dodoma — THE speech by President Jakaya Kikwete in the Constituent Assembly (CA) on March 21, this year, was in accordance to the assembly's Standing Orders which were approved by all members across the political divide and those without political affiliations.
A member of the CA who is also National Chairman of a political party, CCK, Constantine Akitanda made the remarks in a press statement availed to this paper, stressing that the Head of State did not invite himself to inaugurate and address the august House.
"President Kikwete made the address in accordance to Standing Order number 75, sub-section 1 and number 7 sub-section 1 (g) which were approved by all members of the CA," Mr Akitanda explained in his statement.
The explanation by the CA member is in response to some arguments aired by opposition politicians that Mr Kikwete contravened Standing Orders of the House.
Mr Akitanda explained further that as a Head of State, President Kikwete was right and had an obligation of airing his views on the second draft constitution that was tabled in the House by the Chairman of the now dissolved Judge (Rtd) Joseph Warioba-led Constitutional Review Commission (CRC).
"What the president did was to advise members of the CA on matters we should put emphasis, he threw the ball in our court to decide on provisions contained in the second draft constitution. "Tanzanians want a new constitution but some leaders from opposition parties are focusing on personal interests instead of the nation," Mr Akitanda noted.
He went on to blast fellow opposition leaders whom he said had intention of derailing the process to redraft the constitution of the land, claiming to represent the interests of the masses and yet the reverse is true.
According to Akitanda, even if Mr Kikwete is the National Chairman of CCM, he is still the Head of State and his remarks represent those of the nation rather than the party.
"What astonishes me is that there are other leaders of political parties in the House namely Freeman Mbowe of Chadema, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba of CUF and James Mbatia of NCCR-Mageuzi, among others, why is that they also air their views without one questioning," queried the up and coming politician.
Mr Akitanda concluded by urging fellow members of the CA and politicians to put political and ideological differences and focus on the process to rewrite the constitution that will steer the country towards development for the next generations.