Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Special seat legislators need to attend district council meetings


A special seat legislator has called on the review of a law that would enable fellow appointed legislators in the country be in a position to attend financial committee meetings which are being organized by district council authorities in areas of their representation. The call was raised by special seat Taska Restitula Mbogo (CCM) who wanted to know why in these councils’ financial committee meetings their presence is always uncalled for and yet they serve as Members of Parliament like those chosen by the people. Responding to this query, the deputy minister of State in President’s Office responsible for Local Government and Regional Administration Josephat Kakunda said that, special seat legislators are not among the members selected by ward councilors in a respective district council in the country. 

However, he noted that, this is because of the clause in financial law which does not recognize their presence in these important financial committee meetings organized by the councils. The deputy minister has pledged to bring in parliament the bill so that it should be amended according to the parliamentary procedures so that all special seats legislators would now have the opportunity to attend such financial committee meetings organized by district councils. In addition to the question, a supplementary question was also raised by another special seat legislator Catherine Magige (CCM) who also intervened with an idea of requesting the speaker of the National Assembly to think of paying a constituency fund to special seat legislators. However, she continued as saying that, special seat legislator are also capable of convening public rallies in areas of their representations according to the law.

TWB to be boosted to increase its efficiency

The government has set in its future plans to increase its capital share in Tanzania Women Bank (TWB) which currently is faced with financial crisis so as to enable it work more effectively and with efficiency to meet the target for which it was established. The government made its call in parliament last week in a morning session of question and answer when responding to a question earlier raised by a special seat Bupe Nelson Mwakangata (CCM) who wanted to know why TWB does not effectively engaged in lending money to women. 

Responding to this question, the deputy minister for Finance Ashanti Kijaji said that the bank is faced with lots of challenges and that is why its efficiency is low. The minister added that, in the meantime, the government has seen the need to review the financial law No. 18 in June this year so as to make it much stronger and a must for the district council authorities to inject 10 percent of their income to women and youth fund so as to enable women and youths borrow on time. She said that the 10 percent is under the national policy program which should be observed by district council authorities without fail, and whoever will not take the issue as serious then drastic measures will be imposed to such a council.

Government bans transportation of foodstuff across the country

The government has reiterated its commitment to continue preventing farmers and traders from transporting food crops outside the country for sale at this time when there is a great deficit of foodstuff in national granaries, the Minister has said. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and East Africa and International Cooperation Dr. Augustine Mahiga said in Parliament last week in Dodoma when responding to a supplementary question which was raised by Temeke legislator Abdallah Mtolea (CUF).  The legislator wanted to know how does t he ministry’s slogan of “Seeking trade opportunities in East Africa region” mean to farmers in the country and yet the government has prevented them from looking for the trade opportunities to transport their commodities in neighboring countries for sale. Under the slogan, Tanzania has allowed its local traders including farmers to transport their farm commodities across the border in search of its market, but unfortunately the government has imposed an indefinite ban of these commodities from being transported across the border. 

Dr. Augustine Mahiga

 Responding to this question, the foreign affairs minister clarified clearly that, the government had imposed the ban following the incurring shortages of food stuff facing many regions in the country and wanted farmers to sell their commodities to National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA). He also noted that, the government is currently in plans of construction more national granaries on which to preserve foodstuff grown by farmers in various places in the country. Earlier, the Malindi legislator Ally Saleha Ally (CUF) raised a question and wanted to know from the minister how many laws have been compiled by the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and how Tanzania has benefited from these. Responding to this question Minister Dr. Mahiga noted that, there are about 78 laws which have been compiled with some have been amended now and then pending on the changes of the economic situation in the region. Out of these 20 of which are waiting for the heads of State to sign. He mentioned three laws as Customs law of 2004, Laws that combines businesses among member states as well as laws on the removal of barriers on main roads within the regional bloc.

Damaged infrastructural upgrades to be repaired when rains have stopped

The government has assured Members of Parliament from the constituencies whose infrastructures have been badly damaged by rains that, it will make repairs later on when the long rains are over, the deputy minister for works, Transport and Communications has said. Elias John Kwandikwa said in parliament last week in Dodoma during question and answer session that, the government is yet to make an assessment of the losses caused by rains at this time when rains are still pounding in various places in the country. However, he noted that, the government will form a committee to evaluate losses caused and after which will embark on the necessary repairs as soon as possible. 

Elias John Kwandikwa 

The minister was responding a supplementary question which was raised by Nyamagana legislator Stanslaus Mabula (CCM) who wanted to know plans by the government in making repairs of the damaged roads in Mwanza city which have been caused by the long rains currently going on in the country. Another supplementary question was raised by Joseph Selesini (Chadema) who wanted to know when the government would pay compensation to the people of his constituency Rombo whose structures had been earmarked to pave the way for the construction of a tarmac road from Rombo to Mwaisola and the   deputy minister assured a legislator that, the process of settling their payment is complete. Earlier, the Arusha urban legislator Godless Lema (Chadema) raised a question with a view to know if the government had paid a compensation to its people to pave way for the construction  of a great road to be constructed from Arusha-Holili  and Taveta which is known as Arusha Bypass. In response, the deputy minister had assured the legislator that already Tshs 21.1 bn/- had been paid to the 762 people and that an additional payment of compensation will be made later to those who had their structured valued for the second time.