Dodoma. Five days after Ukawa announced it’s boycotting the Katiba Assembly, CA chair Samuel Sitta is finally moving to calm growing fears that Wananchi may never get their new Constitution.
“I believe God loves Tanzania, so I know whatever happens, we will create a new constitution,” he told the CA early Tuesday, during its first session after a short Easter break.
Patience and political maturity, argued Sitta, are absolutely essential to the Katiba-making process. “You’ve shown you have both,” he told Katiba delegates, “So now we’re getting things done.”
A walkout staged last Wednesday by CA members of Ukawa – a loose coalition of ‘defenders’ of Wananchi’s Constitution – is now being called “selfish” and a “betrayal.”
“We’re supposed to protect the interests of our constituents,” said special delegate for Political Parties, Rashid Mtuta.
“So it’s quite pathetic [when] we leave them in the lurch like this.”
“That’s a nasty betrayal” he closed.
Ukawa says it won’t take part in unruly, acrimonious CA debates in which delegates trade brutal jibes and liberally hurl insults at each other.
The group also says it won’t support a process where the Majority – in this instance, CA delegates from the ruling CCM – are actively trying to ‘alter’ key proposals in the 2nd Katiba Draft.
Still, their decision to stay away from the Assembly has won them few new admirers at Parliament House.
Farmers representative Hamisi Dambaya thinks Ukawa shouldn’t have been so quick to walk away.
“Political parties have no legitimate reason to walk away from the negotiating table,” he said.
Tanzanians would be “wronged,” says Dambaya, if CA delegates are simply allowed to leave Dodoma without a new Constitution.
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