Monday, September 1, 2014

Kubenea receives threats over his High Court petition

ONE week after a renowned investigative journalist and a social worker Saed Kubenea filed a petition under a certificate of urgency at the High Court, demanding for the legality of the on-going constitutional writing process, he has been receiving a number of challenges including threats requesting him to withdraw the case with immediate effect. Speaking to journalists last week in Dar es Salaam Kubenea disclosed that, “since he filed the petition he has received a number of short massages (SMS) over the matter in his phone from people some of whom his best friends urging him to have nothing to do with the issue as it has no importance with his life”. He said there are some SMS which have encouraged him to continue with the matter and senders have promised to give him moral support while the majority he noted to be members of the Constituent Assembly (CA) have discouraged him in what he termed as they are after the daily allowances paid as per their sitting. He further noted that, he fears as such SMS might in one way or another threaten his life bearing the fact that, among those senders are people of imminent personalities and high profile with good affluence whom he said might decide to take any action against his defiance. “I am sure the lord God would protect me as what I am doing is not only for my benefit but for the interest of the nation at large”, he said adding that, he is not afraid of the matter and threats inclined but would continue to ensure that the matter is known before the eyes of Tanzanians. However, he denied rumours which has spread around that, there are some people who are behind him and who insisted him to file a petition, noting that this is his own decision as a patriotic of this nation. In the civil case No. 28 of 2014 which was filed on his behalf by a private advocate Peter Kibatala,

Saed Kubenea speaking to journalists (Not in the picture) during a press conference in Dar Es Salaam last week, he is flanked by his law adviser a famous lawyer Mabere Marando.

Kubenea wants the court to give clarification on whether the CA can overturn proposals contained in the second draft constitution tabled by the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC). The petitioner seeks declaration on the proper interpretation of the provisions of Section 25 (1) and Section 25 (2) of the Constitutional Review Act No. 83 of 2011, on whether it has powers to materially alter the contents of the second Draft Constitution as presented to it by the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), and to what extent. A panel of three judges comprising Mr Justice Augustine Mwarija, Mr Justice Fauz Twaib and Mr Justice Aloyisius Mjuluzi have been assigned to hear a petition which is set for mention on 4th next week and on 15th Sept the High Court is expected to issue the outcome of the petition. The petitioner stated that on December 1, 2011, the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania passed the Constitutional Review Act, with a view to regulating the process for the enacting of the new constitution. He argues that the CRC was constituted by the President to collect public views on the proposed constitution and on the basis of such views, prepare a draft constitution. He claims that the Commission, after being so duly constituted, proceeded to collect views from the public who aired their views in public meetings, and in a different format, through the “Mabaraza ya Katiba” constituted in every district in Tanzania for such purpose. But Mr Kubenea allege that immediately after such constitution of the Constitutional Assembly, a debate arose within and outside legal circles on whether the Constitutional Assembly had powers to materially depart from the Draft Constitution as presented to it by the Commission.

No comments: