21 May 2019

Tanzania: Bunge Team Grills Masele for Five Hours

Dodoma — Shinyanga Urban Member of Parliament (MP) Stephen Masele (CCM) was yesterday grilled by a parliamentary committee for about five hours after responding to a call by the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Job Ndugai.

After the grilling session, the eloquent Member of the Parliament spoke to reporters, warning against the danger of interpreting one's defence of basic human rights as "misbehaviour."

The youthful legislator and First Vice President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) was speaking shortly after being grilled by the Parliament's Powers, Privilege and Ethics Committee following a directive by the Parliament Speaker, Mr Job Ndugai. The lawmaker was questioned yesterday by the committee under the chairmanship of Tabora Urban MP (CCM), Mr Emmannuel Mwakasaka.

"I was a deputy minister and I know the ethics of leadership. I have never been reckless and you can check my record. What I said was only on the defence of human rights and my respect to my seniors is unrivalled," said Mr Masele.

"It is my hope that justice will be served, but I am sure that I did not do anything in contravention of accepted conducts of an MP both within the Tanzanian Parliament and PAP," he said. Mr Mwakasala said after grilling Mr Masele they expect to submit their report to Speaker Ndugai before long. Mr Masele is also expected to be subjected to the ruling party, CCM, parliamentary caucus. The standoff between the two came to light on Wednesday when Mr Ndugai announced in Parliament that he had suspended Mr Masele's membership to PAP over allegations of insubordination.

He claimed that Mr Masele was misbehaving in South Africa and had set the Parliament against other executive arms of the state.

Although the speaker did not reveal how Mr Masele misbehaved, the latter confirmed that his support for establishment of a commission to investigate President and Speaker of PAP from Cameroon, Mr Nkodo Dang against sexual abuse allegation by the parliament staff maybe the main reason behind Mr Ndugai's decision to recall him.

The MP, who is on his second term and briefly served as deputy minister in President Jakaya Kikwete's final term in office, said he did not come back home because Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told him to first finish the business in South Africa.

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