Tanzania: Include Funds for New Katiba in Budget, Asks Chadema

Dar es Salaam — Chadema yesterday asked the government to adjust and include the new constitution writing in the 2021/22 budget.

The party said the process was the country's largest project that spent Sh200 billion between 2013 and 2014 to be used for over the next 50 years.

The main opposition political party also proposed introduction of the new constitution tax in the budget for mobilization of financial resources in order to fund the process.

Reviving the process starting from the 2021/22 Fiscal Year will produce the document reaching June 2024 and pave the way for the local polls and general election in 2025 without what transpired in the 2019 civic polls and 2020 General Election.

Chadema secretary general John Mnyika told a press conference that the process has been excluded in the budget and neglected in the mainstream and social media debates.

"The process should be included in the 2021/22 budget and use this fiscal year for writing the federation constitution and forming the independent electoral body for supervising the referendum instead of the present electoral body due to its roles in the 2020 General Election," he suggested.

He said in the 2022/23, the task will be writing the constitutions of partner states (Tanganyika and Zanzibar) to comply with the federation's constitution. "The task in 2023/24 should be for the federation and partner states to write their laws in compliance with demands of the new constitutions," he proposed, adding: "If that happens, the country will be ready for civic polls in 2024 and Elections 2025 using the new constitution and laws under the supervision of an independent electoral body."

According to him, new constitution tax will enable the government to mobilize funds for the project, noting that lenders could be asked for repayment holiday in order to complete the process first.

Mr Mnyika said without the new constitution, bringing development, building a free and democratic country will be slowed. "We all need to agree on the significance of the process for the country. CCM-dominated Parliament should also support in ensuring the process is included in the 2021/22 budget," he said.

He outlined 12 benefits: revenue sources to Union partners; reduction of size of Parliament and the Executive and bringing in national values.

Others are leadership values and norms; independent electoral commission; gender equality; economic principles should originate from the constitution, freedom of the press; people's rights and independence of the Parliament.

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