The Constituent Assembly Chairman Samwel Sitta, was yesterday forced to postpone the evening session after membeSitta then ordered the steering committee to take back the proposed schedule of amendments to the standing order committee which will present its proposal today.Tundu Lissu claimed that there was deliberate breaching of the standing orders that were passed by the assembly.Lissu mentioned some of the standing orders that were already agreed and passed as section 14 (1); 32; 33; 35; 81 (1d); 63 (1); 64 (1); 85 (4).He said according to standing order 87 (1) it is the standing order committee and not the steering committee which has mandate to propose amendments. “We passed the rules with exception of sections 37 and 38 …the schedule of amendments should not be brought in the Assembly,” he noted, adding that the chairman has some weakness in presiding over some issues.Ismail Jussa Ladhu said it is impossible to make amendments to the rules that were passed and have not yet been applied.
Zanzibar Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Abubakar Hamis rs differed on the amendment of the Standing Orders.Bakary said: “You have to respect the rules, if members are to respect your chair.”
Earlier CA members belonging to a loose coalition called UKAWA, the Kiswahili acronym for Umoja wa Katiba ya Wananchi, literally Coalition of People's Constitution said it was unfair to change the rules which CA passed after lengthy deliberations. Addressing a press conference here yesterday, UKAWA’s Chairman Freeman Mbowe said: "We spent a lot of time discussing these Standing Orders. But all of a sudden a group of people from nowhere is trying to dismantle them. Amending the orders might have bad motives."
He said according to standing order 87 (1), (2), it is only the CA chairman who can propose the amendment of any standing order provided he gives good reasons for doing so.
"Who is that person who proposed the amendment of these standing orders without our knowledge?" queried Mbowe.He vowed that UKAWA members will stick to their guns until the people's constitution is secured.For his part, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba blamed President Jakaya Kikwete for bringing the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) constitution review to the CA, instead of that of Judge Joseph Warioba’s Commission.He also faulted the President for openly attacking the Warioba team before a packed session of CA members and invited dignitaries.Yet as the head of State, he had been getting feed backs from time to time from the CRC, he said.Lipumba said UKAWA members would not boycott the CA as doing so would mean leaving CCM cadres to write the CCM constitution and not the people’s constitution.
But Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda defended President Jakaya Kikwete's address in the Constituent Assembly (CA) last week, saying just like any other citizen he had the right to air his views though it’s up to the CA to take or leave them.“The President simply aired his opinions and pointed out some issues that needed to be handled with caution while discussing the second draft of the constitution, but it is CA members who have the final say,” Pinda told a news conference yesterday.According to the Prime Minister, the President’s speech provided a clear picture of what was to be done by members in order to obtain a good constitution.He said there are some people who percieved the speech of the President who is also the CCM National Chairman as the stance of the party, saying they were mistaken. On the speech of the Chairman of Constitution Review Commission (CRC), Judge Joseph Warioba, Pinda said: “As the CRC chairperson, he was obliged to tell Tanzanians through the assembly that he had finished his work and the rest will be done by members of assembly.”
He noted that what Judge Warioba presented doesn't conclude everything. “The CRC chairman just gave us a go ahead to discuss the second draft of the constitution review which will later on be forwarded to the people for the final decision through a referendum." Regarding the Union between Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, Pinda said the government has done a lot to address the challenges. “There were more than 30 burning Union issues, but we have reduced them to three. We hope that the new constitution will come up with a remedy for these,” he said. Giving his stance regarding the three-government system, he said such decision should be reached with extra caution. “My opinion is to have a two-government system, but with improvements to ensure a peaceful Union for both parties," he said.