JPM unhappy with debate on extending term limit

Sunday January 14 2018


By Khalifa Said @RealKhalifax

Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli has deplored an ongoing debate on extending the presidential term limit from five to seven years.

He urged the people to ignore the debate and instead focus on building the country’s economy.

According to a State House statement, President Magufuli made the remarks during his talks with CCM Ideology and Publicity director Humphrey Polepole yesterday.

“The debate on extending the term limit is useless. Tanzanians should concentrate on building their economy,” he said.

This is the second time the President has steered clear of the debate on extending the presidential term limit.

Last year Chemba MP (CCM) Juma Nkamia said he would table a private member’s motion in Parliament to extend the presidential term limit from five to seven years.

But before Mr Nkamia did so in November, Magufuli told a rally that he flatly rejected the idea.

“It is impossible. I will respect the Constitution. I took the oath of office to defend it ... I’ll play my part and pass the mantle to the next president when the time comes.”

While Dr Magufuli has spurned the idea, it makes a lot of sense to Zanzibar’s Second Vice President Seif Ali Idd, who recently welcomed a proposal by a member of House of Representatives to extend the presidential term limit from five to seven years.

Debating proposals for the Elections Act of 2017, some representatives proposed that the term limit be reviewed because Zanzibar had been incurring huge amounts of money to hold polls after every five years.

Mr Hamza Hassan Juma (Shaurimoyo -- CCM) said for the president to serve the people well the term limit should be extended.

“This isn’t new in the region. Rwanda has done it. Extending the presidential limit will help us achieve development goals. There is no problem with the proposal,” said Mr Idd.