Mwanza. Insistence on a three-tier government, transparency in investment contracts and human rights headlined the Lake Zone tour of Chadema top leadership collecting people’s views on the draft Constitution.
In a two-group entourage led by the party’s chairman, Mr Freeman Mbowe, and its secretary general, Dr Willibroad Slaa, the main opposition party plans to collect views of 5 million Tanzanians in its two-week mission. This is according to Mr Mbowe during his public meeting with residents of Mwanza.
Before a fully packed audience at Magomeni grounds, Mr Mbowe said the countrywide tour was to give a broad platform to all Tanzanians, regardless of their ideological differences to air their views on how best the new Constitution should serve them. “We would like people to tell us how the new Constitution can help them benefit from the vast resources, provide them with their basic human rights and democracy that would make them committed leaders,” he told the audience.
Mbowe said Chadema resorted to reach a bigger number of Tanzanians because the constitution review commission chaired by Judge Joseph Warrioba collected views of only 18,000 people, a situation he said ridiculed the country’s over 40 million population.
“When we complete our mission, views from 5 million Tanzanians would be collected, which is about 12.5 per cent of all wananchi,” he explained.
However, Mbowe said the commission did a commendable job, lauding Judge Warioba and his team for drafting a constitution that did not favour the ruling party.
However, Chadema’s biggest concern according to Mbowe and Ubungo MP John Mnyika, was the presidential hand in appointing 166 members of the constituent assembly to review the second draft of the constitution.
“The excessive power given to the President is likely to give the ruling party a wide room to serve its interest,” said Mbowe.
Without directly mentioning it, Mbowe’s carefully- worded speech seemed to laud President Jakaya Kikwete for personally playing part in the katiba reforms when he accepting the party’s endeavour for constitutional reforms, something most staunch members of the ruling party didn’t support.
He said the party played a vital role in the formation of the new constitution which he said started just after the elections in October 2010, which were stained by several anomalies.
“Though we lost to the ruling CCM, the elections greatly strengthened our party to become the opposition. We led the campaign for new constitution that serves true democracy and multiparty status of the country because there were many anomalies in the existing constitution, We right started to fight for a new constitution and President Jakaya Kikwete okayed it,” said Mbowe.
After yesterday’s tour of Geita Region, Chadema planned to tour Kigoma, Tabora, and Rukwa and Katavi regions after the end of its Lake Zone tour.
The western-side team under Mbowe, has already covered Mara, Simiyu, Shinyanga, Mwanza and Geita regions, in its endeavour to reach over million people residing in the zone.