Monday, August 18, 2014

CA proposes parliament body to approve huge sums of government loans

THE Constituent Assembly (CA) committee No. 8 has proposed the need of having huge sums of money being loaned by the government to be approved by the union Parliament before use and that, this system should be endorsed in the current national draft of constitution. The Committee Chairman Job Ndugai said on Friday last week when briefing journalists on various deliberations reached by his committee members after they had discussed Chapter 14 of the legal document, article No. 227 and 228 respectively. Article 227 of the constitution talks about the national debt whereas article 228 speaks about the authority which the United Republic of Tanzania has in borrowing money from external sources. Ndungai who is also the Deputy speaker of the national parliament and an MP for Kongwa constituency (CCM) elaborated over the issue and clarified reasons for parliament to approve such huge sums of money is to control the trend of the national debt which keeps on rising year after year. Another reason he attributed is to let the general public know a certain sum of money which the government shall have loaned for various development projects, unlike at the moment whereby the government channels all documentations on loaning schemes secretly. However, Ndungai did not specified how much money would be required to be approved by law makers in this case, but noted that to make things open was better to enable  every citizen know the trend of their national debt. He queried while elaborating over the matter and noted that suppose the government fails to remit the money loaned, they should know what steps to be taken thereafter. He also noted that, his committee members discussed challenges which occur whenever the government of Zanzibar wants to acquire loan from outside that, it must gets an approval from the Tanzania mainland. In this case he also noted that, the procedures should be endorsed by the union parliament. In another development Ndungai mentioned two proposals which his committee has received since the CA resumed its business on Tuesday last week. These are people’s opinions which are sent directly to the committee concerned for endorsement and not for discussion as such opinions are not within the constitutional draft.

Deputy speaker of the national parliament and an MP for Kongwa 

He said that he had received one opinion from somebody named Ramadhani Mkangila from Morogoro who requested all Gods commandments as stated in holy religious books should be endorsed in the draft constitution. He also mentioned another person by the name Yassin Alou also from Morogoro who has requested that all cemetery grounds should have rights and must be respected whatsoever, but could not specified in what ways they should be respected. The two opinions, he said would be filed to the administration committee which has the mandate to deal with such opinions aired by people at this time when the constitution writing process is going on. On the issue of Ministers to be members of parliament or not, as stated in Chapter 7 Article 101 of the draft of constitution, he said has caused a split among his members in such away that they could not reach a consensus and left the matter to be voted upon by members on 21st this month. Meanwhile, the CA deputy chairperson of the committee No. 10, Salmin Awadth Salmin said that, his committee members experienced a challenge when they were discussing the same chapter and added that, almost half of its members could not reach to a unanimous decision over the matter. Briefing journalists, Salmin noted that, the issue of either a minister should be members of parliament or not is still in a nutshell, but he elaborated some factors his members noted that, ministers have not enough time to attend parliamentary sessions as most of them do look at the issues basing on government matters. In view of this some of his members suggested that, they should be appointed from not among the members of parliament just like other countries do such as the United States of America, adding that, some noted that if they would be selected from among the MPs, they are not in a position to speak against the government even if it is at fault. On the issue of the government structure in Chapter 6 of the constitutional draft, he disclosed that, most of his committee members did not support a federal government structure as endorsed by Constitution Review Commission (CRC). He further noted that, about 80 percent of his members supported a two tier government structure when they discussed the chapter which is now closed waiting for voting exercise scheduled in 2nd September next month.

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