21 April 2014

Tanzania: Clerics Urge Katiba Assembly Back

CLERICS have proposed the formation of a highly-respected group comprising of at least 20 members to take back the Constituent Assembly (CA) on track.

Delivering his Easter sermon at the St Peters Roman Catholic Church in Dar es Salaam, Auxiliary Bishop of the Dar es Salaam Catholic Archdiocese, Reverend Titus Mdoe, said the 20-person special group will start from where the CA ended last week, with one group in the assembly boycotting the remaining sessions over dissatisfaction on the discussion trend.

"It's normal for rival parties to tolerate each other in life; fighting or disagreeing on some issues. But it is not the same as with the CA proceedings in which we have witnessed silly and funny happenings going on," the visibly disappointed church leader observed.

Bishop Mdoe said the current state of affairs in the CA was threatening the possibility of Tanzania having a new constitution, calling for a speedy intervention before the situation gets out of hands.

Relating the rising of Christ from the dead and the need to make sure that the world lives peacefully as a result of the Holy Happening, the cleric appealed to Tanzanians to celebrate Easter with the resolve to rescue the new constitution writing process.

He said as every Tanzanian was looking forward to the resumption of fruitful deliberations that would lead to having a new constitution, Bishop Mdoe told the congregation that "what is happening in Dodoma should be a wakeup call that Satan has interfered in the whole process."

"Unfortunately, we don't see wisdom expected to be seen among some faces in Dodoma that can be used to save this noble process. The assembly should not drag itself into the trap of this bad devil," he cautioned.

Calling for both sides engaging in trading jibes in the assembly to reconcile for the good of the entire constitution writing process as well as that of the country, Bishop Mdoe called for careful study of what was presented in the Constitutional Draft.

A spot check by the 'Daily News' during the Easter prayers in some churches in Dar es Salaam yesterday established that most of them included the progress of the CA into their prayers.

A number of churches have also called for special prayers as the country marks the 50th anniversary of the Union next Saturday, touching on the rising tension on the sensitive chapters in the constitutional draft, particularly those touching the structure of the Union.

As the CA sessions are expected to resume tomorrow, the assembly might not be the same as it used to be for the last two months or so following the sessions' boycott by some of the members who have identified themselves as the UKAWA group, for a number of reasons.

The group, basically championing the reinstatement of the 'Tanganyika government' into the new constitution, among others, have vowed they won't return to the debating chamber, which religious leaders fear might trigger disruption of peace and stability in the country.

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