Monday, August 11, 2014

Sitta wants Ukawa to stop illegal gatherings

The Chairman of the Constituent Assembly (CA) Samwel Sitta has warned the role of some CA members who continues to conduct illegal meetings discussing the writing of the new constitution outside the debating chamber. Sitta issued his concern yesterday when addressing members of the CA members who turned up to resume the second phase discussions of the national constitution whose sessions started on Tuesday last week in Dodoma parliament grounds. He said all discussions relating with the ongoing constitutional writing process has to be discussed openly in the CA and not elsewhere as what the group of the so-called members of the Coalition of Defenders of the People’s Constitution (Ukawa) are doing. He said various gatherings organized by Ukawa which discusses the role of constitution writing process in the country have negative distortions as they are full of reprimands and abuses which are likely to cause misunderstands among citizens in the country about the whole process. “Being the Chairman of the CA, my responsibility is to tell what is all about the proceedings ahead of the  constitution writing process according to the law and also clarify what some people might have put to distort the whole meaning. He has accused members of Ukawa for their role as it is not right as stipulated in the Constitution Review Act 2013. 

The Chairman of the Constituent Assembly Mr. Samwel Sitta

“Their role transpires negative distortions to the whole meaning by holding illegal meetings under the name of CA”, he said. However, he clarified clearly the meaning of the draft as it is described according to the law and noted that, ‘this is just a mere document which is not yet approved by an apex body to make it effectively work.   He therefore noted that, once such a document has been put for discussion, the CA has the right to rectify it wherever possible and that it could be meaningless for the CA to be handed over with a draft without making amendments on it and leave it as such the way it was presented before. Otherwise, he continued there was no need for the Constitution Review Commission team to hand it over to members of CA for discussion, otherwise they could have taken it straight to the general public to  vote for it. Sitta is on the view of the fact that, it is only the CA which has the audacity to discuss what is inside the draft and no any other institutions or a group of people such as Ukawa  before it is taken to people for a referendum.  He further clarified that as long as the CA has the right to discuss the draft as in accordance to the law, still its members have the legal right to conduct the sessions as representatives of the majority of various areas, institutions or NGOs in the country. “This is why a large section of the general public has been represented by their Members of Parliament representing various constituencies  and others have been  appointed by the President to represent other social groups”, he said adding that, have to be respected at all cost. However, Sitta has also questioned the legality of some of leaders from these groups to boycott the sessions in CA and instead have resorted to conduct their own meetings outside the debating chamber by distorting people, a factor which ironically is not in line with legal procedures. Sitta has warned such movements and wanted the perpetrators be stopped from doing so with immediate effect. However, he also said that, the CA members would continue discussing the draft and hailed their attendance saying that, they have turned out over 75 percent of them.

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