Friday, August 30, 2013
Lwaitama calls on government to accept people’s views over new constitution
As three days have remained prior to the winding up of a nationwide discussion about the new draft of national constitution, former lecturer of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) Dr. Azaveli Lwaitama has called on government to accept people’s views as directed in relation to the three tire government structure. The issue which has become a subject of debate in all constitutional council meetings in the country has sparked fear and mixed perception among Tanzanians most of whom have noticed that, the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar would come to an end if the idea would be finally approved in the constitution. Dr. Lwaitama made a remark early this week in Dar es Salaam at a constitutional council meeting which was organized by a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) known as Change Tanzania, a forum was held at a British Council hall. Describing about the issue, the don noted that, the three tire government structure would limit the President’s power and there is no means whatsoever as this issue is entirely upon Tanzanians to decide while voting for their opinions. He said that, apart from the three government system, Tanzanians must know that there are a lot and more helpful matters to be discussed in the draft constitution which has come out with sixteen phases, in view of this, has urged Tanzanians to concentrate on other matters which will help build their economic and social life in future. The forum was attended by academicians, human rights activists, lawyers and ordinary people who gathered to discuss the way forward about the new constitution for which Dr. Lwaitama was among the three main speakers.
Others speakers were Deodatus Balile who is a member of Tanzania Editors’ Forum (TEF) and the Managing Editor of a weekly investigative Kiswahili tabloid called Jamhuri, and Irenei Kiria who is the Managing Director of a civil society group known as SIKIKA. Dr. Lwaitama has urged Tanzanians not to spend more time to discuss much about the three tire government structure and instead they should concentrate on other basic issues which could bring revolutionary change of mindset. He said people must go further and scrutinize their mindset which would bring about some revolutionary changes for the development of the country in general. However, he also took time to warn Tanzanians not to make a criticism on whatever has been outlined in the new draft and instead should talk with evidences tendered so as to approve their arguments the impact on the three tire government structure. “People should also talk of good things put across by Judge Joseph Warioba’s review commission team and should not criticize anything in the constitution without proper explanations” he said. He reminded the audience that the essence of demanding for a new constitution started way back in 1964 after the army mutiny, this was first amended in 1965 with the purpose of preparing the coming of the policy of Arusha Declaration which ushered the building of a socialist state. TEF’s member Balile noted that, the draft constitution did not carry some of the most important views earlier recommended by the TEF members. He mentioned them as the formation of the journalists’ council as the current one is not recognized by the constitution. He clarified a point that, in the draft is not stated directly that the rights of the people to be informed is not only through media organs, but people can also be informed through other means so longer as it is their rights to be informed.