Dar es Salaam. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) has issued a proclamation ahead of Easter celebrations, which among other things touched on the country’s politics, education, economy and the need to revive the constitution rewriting process.
The document, to which 27 ELCT bishops appended their signatures, was issued after their meeting held on March 15.
Most of its content is expected to dominate today’s sermons in ELCT fellowships across the country.
In the proclamation, the bishops reiterate the need for the revival of the writing of the new constitution, continuing from where the now defunct Judge Warioba Constitutional Review Commission had ended.
“Most Tanzanians believe that there is a need for a new constitution, which will address the many challenges that the country is facing,” reads in part the document, which has also been widely circulated on social media.
Stressing the importance of the new Mother Law, the bishops proposed that it would good for the country if the new constitution would be drafted before the 2020 general election, although it didn’t give the reasons behind.
When reached for Executive take on the message, government spokesman Hassan Abbasi simply noted, “It is an Easter message. So, we wish them a happy Easter.”
ELCT joins the Tanzania Episcopal Conference to express the need for the revival of the process of writing the new constitution.
Through the proclamation, the ELCT bishops call for citizens to use democratic rights to demand for the new constitution.
In their pastoral message, the bishops insisted that although the fifth phase government has done many good things there is a need for a legal framework to guide it, which will only be provided by the new constitution.
The bishops said in the circular that they have been forced to issue the circular because it is its responsibility to speak on behalf of the people.
They also called for the government to ensure that the issuance of higher learning students’ loans is inclusive to all students regardless of the courses they would be pursuing or colleges that they are admitted to.
They also called for security organs to ensure that Tanzanians’ lives are protected at all costs.
“When someone dies or disappears under mysterious circumstances, security organs should make sure that independent investigations into the matter are conducted so that the culprits can be brought to justice,” reads the document in part.
“There have been reports of killings of police officers, citizens and attempted assassinations on politicians as well as abductions and torturing of people. If these incidents aren’t investigated there is a danger that the country will head in a wrong direction,” reads the proclamation, which has ignited a hot debate on social media.
The bishops called for religious leaders to constantly pray for the country’s peace and security and for increased justice and as it is passes through a difficult period.