21 September 2017

Tanzania: Bunge Fails to Grill Kubenea

Dar es Salaam — The Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers Committee on Wednesday failed to grill Ubungo MP Saed Kubenea (Chadema) after he appeared before the committee, while sick.

According to a statement from the Parliament's Information and Education Department, Mr Kubenea, was brought to the committee by the police at about 10am on a wheel chair.

He was flown to Dodoma under police escort to appear before the Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers Committee yesterday morning. The plane carrying him landed at the Dodoma airport at about 7am.

The MP was arrested in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday and spent the night at Oysterbay Police Station before he was escorted to Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) yesterday morning.

Speaking at the meeting, Committee chairman George Mkuchika said they decided to meet after they were directed by Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Job Ndugai, following Mr Kubenea's remarks against him (Speaker) at one of Dar es Salaam's churches.

"The committee meets after receiving directives from the Speaker. We received charges on Mr Kubenea allegedly to have disrespected the powers of the Speaker for the remarks he made at one of Dar es Salam based churches," he said.

He added that, being on the wheel chair, Mr Kubenea asked the committee to postpone his questioning something that was accepted by all members.

However, Mr Mkuchika directed the Ubungo MP to be taken to the Bunge dispensary for First Aid.

On September 12, Speaker Ndugai directed Mr Kubenea to be questioned by the committee to prove the allegations that the Speaker lied to the National Assembly by saying that Mr Lissu's vehicle was shot at with between 28 and 32 bullets.

Mr Ndugai also directed Kigoma Urban MP Zitto Kabwe (ACT-Wazalendo) to be grilled by the same committee following his comments on social media.

Mr Kabwe is accused of criticising the Speaker for handing over two reports by two Parliamentary teams formed to investigate tanzanite and diamond mining before they were debated in Parliament.

Mr Kabwe wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday that Mr Ndugai's performance was far behind his predecessors--Samuel Sitta and Anne Makinda.

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