Monday, August 25, 2014

Lipumba flouts CCM decision over CA meetings

The Chairman of the Civic United Front (CUF) Professor Ibrahim Lipumba has flouted the recent decision by Central Committee (CC) of the ruling CCM party which legalized the Constituent Assembly (CA) to continue with its proceedings as usual in Dodoma. Prof. Lipumba made his plea on Thursday last week in an exclusive interview with the Guardian that, the ruling party has monopolized power in the decision making which is against the expectation of many people in the country. He said in a telephone interview when contacted by this paper to clarify the matter and his perception following the decision reached by CC of the ruling party on a controversial CA meeting which currently is discussing the new constitution. He said refusal by CCM to suspend the CA meeting is a denial of citizens’ democratic rights and instead the ruling party could look at the possibility on how to end up the standoff between the two warring groups. He said it was better if the controversy is solved amicably and reach a consensus, and thereby to allow the resumption of the CA meetings after general election. According to him, there are so many things to be done by the government bearing in mind the fact that, there is shorter timeframe when the nation is getting prepared for the general election citing the preparation of the permanent voter registration book which is a bigger task lying ahead. Another thing Prof. Lipumba noted is lack of independent election commission which he said has to be looked more keenly at this time when the nation has left with 12 months from now for the general election to take place. Prof. Lipumba noted that, the continued CA meeting has been squandering tax payers’ money for nothing while knowing clearly that, at the end the new constitution would not be attained but he declined to clarify how. However, he noted that, despite refusal by CCM to suspend the CA sessions amid request from the group, preparations by Ukawa members to stage a countrywide demonstration is still intact. Investigations by this paper can establish that, most of the Ukawa members thought that the CCM party would deter their stand and called off the CA meeting amid hot debates currently going on in various parts in the country calling for an immediate suspension of the CA meeting sessions to pave the way for reconciliation and resumed after general election next year. The call to let the meeting suspended has been touted by even some other CCM cadres who claims that, the process consumes tax payers’ money for nothing. 

The Chairman of the Civic United Front (CUF) Professor Ibrahim Lipumba.

Meanwhile, as the impasse between CCM party and Ukawa members seems to be growing, a book publisher has suggested the two warring groups to sign an International accord with a view to save the nation from splitting apart. Jackson Mbogo expressed his concern last week in Dodoma in an exclusive interview with this paper after he had introduced his book at a seminar organized by Tanzania Constitution Forum (TCF). The book is written in Swahili language titled, “Katiba ya Tanzania ni mtoto yatima bungeni” which literally means Tanzania’s constitution process is an orphan in the Constituent Assembly (CA)  TCF had organized a three day seminar for heads of their representatives from the district level with the aim of building their knowledge capacity so as to become aware of the people’s views endorsed in the new draft of constitution by the disbanded Constitution Review Commission (CRC). He said that, the two groups have people who follow them behind with different views at this time when the nation is writing its constitution which is a focus for the future life of Tanzanians Mbogo has predicted Tanzania is likely to enter into a political turmoil at this time when the nation has proved failure to reach a consensus just for a very minor issue if mediated by external bodies would clear the existing standoff. In view of this, he suggested the intervention by international reconciliation body for the accord so as to save the nation from being plunged into a political turmoil. He cited an example of what happened in Kenya in 2007 after post general election results, saying that no one expected what could happen after the election until the United Nations intervened and elected former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan who mediated. Elaborating on his 110 paged book with the main themes that focuses the role of the CA in the constitutional draft making process, he said that is consisting mainly of a summary report collected from the old constitution which was last reviewed in 1977. Mbogo who is a former Secretary General of the Tanzania Railway Workers Union (TRAWU) noted in his book how the current draft has lost popularity in the CA due to few politicians who are trying to hijack the whole process for their own benefits leaving behind basic issues necessary for the majority of Tanzanians. He compared the current draft of constitution and narrated that it has been left alone and moreover in a destitute state just like a family whose parents are dead and left orphaned and so no one is there to uplift the status of their well being. He also noted that, since the start of the constitutional making process, he is surprised as he has never heard of a politician talking about Tanzania and his people, instead scores of them have been driving their views which defend their political parties and leaving behind crucial matters which have interests to the nation.

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