President Jakaya Kikwete has moved forward by five days the date set for the commencement of the Constituent Assembly.The Assembly was set to start on February 11, this year, but the the President said yesterday that there would be a delay due to incomplete preparations.“The constituent assembly will commence on the third week of February. The delay is due to renovation of the Parliament debating chamber where some of the important gadgets need to be fixed and tested,” he said. The president was speaking in Mbeya during the commemoration of 37th Anniversary of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).The president also allayed concerns that the second draft of the constitution was final, saying the assembly had powers to make changes, including slotting in issues left out in the draft.“The constituent assembly has mandate to discuss the constitution draft section-by- section and incorporate crucial issues,” he said.
He said the work of nominating members of the constituent assembly is almost complete, and that their names will be made public in two days.“We will not get our new constitution by shedding blood or fighting, but through amicable discussions and decisions among the lawmakers” he said.Meanwhile President Kikwete said political parties’ leaders will meet at the end of this week to discuss the modalities of the constituent assembly to ensure a smooth commencement of its sessions. He said: “The new constitution will not be obtained through fighting, but through discussion. So there is no need to stoke conflict. If the assembly does not get us the new constitution, we will use the current one, although reforms are unavoidable”.Transport Minister Dr Harrison Mwakyembe said in 37 years of CCM, Mbeya has achieved notable development, especially in terms of the transportation sector, by improving rail and air travel. Flights from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya now take a few hours.
He said the government was working to advance the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) to serve neigbouring countries.“The government is eager to bring big changes in the transportation sector. We have already amended the transportation laws purposely to make the running of Tazara to allow participation of the private sector” he said.He thanked the government of China for offering Tazara six engines, saying his office in collaboration with the government of Zambia expect to increase the number of coaches to the authority.
CCM chairman for Mbeya Godfrey Zambi (MP) said there was visible development in the city, including the increment of government and private schools, universities and health centres.“We should ignore people who claim that our party has done nothing for all these years. Our region has succeeded in the sector of education, where we have 300 secondary schools, universities and health centres,” he said.