Chadema council stresses elders position in govt

Tuesday January 8 2019

The Chadema elders council chairman, Mr Hashim

The Chadema elders council chairman, Mr Hashim Jumaa Issa, speaks during a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday. PHOTO|ERICKY BONIPHACE 

By Josephine Christopher @JocfineQ

Dar es Salaam. Chadema elders’ council said yesterday that should their party win the 2020 general election, the government will be making important decisions after going through all pieces of advice from them. The Chadema elders’ council chairman, Mr Hashim Jumaa Issa, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that in line with the goal, the party will set aside about 50 special seats in parliament for the elders.

“This will make it easy for them to collaborate in matters of state decisions. Currently, state leaders make decisions without consulting the elders. This is bad for the nation,” he said. Speaking about the Political Parties Bill, 2018, Mr Issa warned that if the parliament passes the bill, it will land the nation into political unrest.

He said the bill intends to weaken the opposition and democracy at large. “We know it will eventually pass. In fact, CCM enjoys a majority representation in the parliament and that is why we request the government to stop the process because it will have adverse effects,” he said.

According to him, the amendments will violate the constitution’s objective for political freedom, claiming that it not surprising the president is mum on this matter as he is the main violator of the constitution. “President John Magufuli has violated the constitution several times. For example, he annulled the right of political parties to conduct peaceful demonstrations,” he said.

He added that the president has also signed many international contracts without presenting them to the parliament. He said: “Besides, the use of unnecessary police force during elections has always interfered with the voting process.” The elders chairman also stated that when Chadema assumes power, it will ensure that contribution from the elders is recognised.

Mr Issa said: “Currently, state leaders make decisions without consulting the elders who can provide wiser pieces of advice.” He said in the Chadema-led government, the elders will be empowered to enable them take part in key nation’s decisions.