CUF MPs walk-out of parliament in protest of chair’s decision

What you need to know:

  • For years debate on Union issues has not been easy with contending parties failing to agree on important aspects of the merger

Dodoma. The Civic United Front (CUF) lawmakers from Zanzibar on Monday April 9 evening walked out of Parliament in protest of the decision by the Bunge chairman, Mussa Azan Zungu, to denying them a chance to debate union matters.

Mr Zungu issued the directive following a guidance sought by the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office responsible for Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled, Ms Jenista Mhagama, seeking the chairman to clarify if the language used by the MPs to debate on union matters was appropriate.

Ms Mhagama was concerned that it was inappropriate for MPs to claim that the government was ignoring the Union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika.

The exchange happened when the parliament was debating Prime Minister’s Office 2018/19 Budget estimates.

In his bid to end the exchange, Mr Zungu ordered all MPs to desist from debating the union affairs until the chair issue a ruling on the guidance sought by the Minister.

That’s when the MPs made a decision to protest, saying the matter was documented in the Prime Minister’s budget speech which was tabled last week in Parliament and therefore deserved being debated. They later walked out of the house.

The MP for Mji Mkongwe, Mr Ali Saleh, told journalists outside the Parliament that they decided to walk out because they were denied a chance to debate very crucial issue.