Tanzania: The Zitto Case Against the Speaker Ndugai At the Boiling Point

This week, the House passed a resolution not to co-operate with the Controller and Auditor General.

Dar es Salaam — The constitutional case on protections of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) and powers of Parliamentary Committees to question the later has now reached at the boiling point after High Court of Tanzania has released date for hearing.

The case No. 01 of 2019, was filed at the High Court by Kigoma Urban MP, Zitto Kabwe against the Speaker of the house, Job Ndugai and the Attorney General (AG).

In this case, Zitto, who is also the leader of the ACT-Wazalendo Party, requested the High Court to issue a constitutional protection of the CAG, as well as to provide the interpretation of the Act of Justice, Protection and Power of Parliament in appealing people who are disrespectful to parliament.

The case which is heard by the panel of judges; Judge Firmin Matogolo (panel leader), Judge Dr Benhajj Masoud and Judge Elinaza Luvanda, was mentioned on 31 January for the first time in court and the court decided to start hearing it officially on February 15, this year.

The court also ordered the debtors (Speaker and AG) to file their defense within 14 days, which end on February 13, this year.

While the case was being mentioned in court, Zitto was not present but was represented by his lawyer Fatma Karume, and Speaker Ndugai was also not present and represented by a panel of three state advocates, led by the General Counselor (PSA), Alesia Mbuya.

Zitto opened the case after the Speaker through the media and later writing to the CAG asking him to appear before the parliamentary committee to be questioned from his statement in the United States that the Tanzanian Parliament was weak.

Professor Assad (CAG) a statement while in New York in the United States, while being interviewed by the UN Radio Broadcaster, Analod Kayanda, in the manner in which his audit reports were performed.

So, Zitto claims and asks the court to report and order the Speaker, who failed to comply with the constitution, to appeal to CAG until his arrival on January 21, this year.

He wants the court to take the Speaker's order to the CAG as contrary to the constitution as provided in articles 26 (1), 18 (a) (b) and (d) of the constitution of Tanzania and that the call was invalid.

He also appeals to the court for a permanent protection to prevent the Speaker, his staff and his agent from taking any action, including ordering or directing anyone to arrest or hold CAG Prof Assad to Dodoma to be questioned by the parliamentary committee on his statement.

The case was registered on January 21, this year after a seven-day tension between the prosecutor and the High Court, from the defects that the court imposed.

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