Justice (rtd) Joseph Warioba has warned the majority in the Constituent Assembly (CA) against bulldozing everybody else in the process of rewriting the Tanzanian Constitution. He argued that the new Mother Law won’t last long if it won’t have the consensus of all groups in the country.
Mr Warioba, who chaired the now-disbanded Constitution Review Commission (CRC), said if CA continues with the process without the consensus of other groups, the envisaged Law won’t last 50 years.
Instead, Mr Warioba warned that the completion of the process under the present antagonistic situation would be just the beginning of even louder calls for an all-encompassing Constitution.
He was speaking during the launch of a report entitled ‘Sauti za Wananchi’, a study on what the people are saying about the Second Draft Constitution, conducted by Twaweza.
“If you follow the CA proceedings, you will note that the majority want to use their numerical advantage to pass what will favour them while the minority is bent on doing anything to stop them… that way, I don’t think we will get a good Constitution,” said Mr Warioba.
The former prime minister said it was important for the MCAs to remember that they have a very crucial responsibility to play with regard to Tanzania’s future.
“The MCAs must mind what they say, because they might tear apart the country if they aren’t careful,” he cautioned, while condemning attacks on his person.
Mr Warioba said he is particularly disappointed by some arguments by those who oppose three-governments Union on the claim that the system might trigger a military coup, more after the government fails to pay them their salaries due to limited sources of income.
Furthermore, Mr Warioba said, what is most disappointing is that such words have been even uttered in churches and other places of worship. According to him, such statements are inciting and could tear up the nation by actually inciting the soldiers. While he did not name names, he was referring to statements attributed to Minister William Lukuvi who told a church congregation in Dodoma recently that a three-tier government will invite a coup and formation of an Islamic state in Zanzibar.
“We aren’t supposed to involve the military and church in cheap politics; the military has been one of the institutions with high integrity even when we experienced financial difficulties in the 1980s and 1970s; we don’t have to drag them in the way we are doing now because it is dangerous,” said Mr Warioba.
Nzega MP Hamis Kigwangala who represented CCM secretary general at yesterday’s meeting continued the attack on the CRC, alleging that it went against its terms of reference by proposing a three-government Union system.
Kigwangala said under the Constitution Review Act the CRC wasn’t allowed to change the Union