MPs blame JK on CA woes - The Citizen

MPs blame JK on CA woes

Monday March 31 2014

By Bernard Lugongo, The Citizen Reporter

Dodoma. A gathering of female lawmakers from opposition parties has blamed President Jakaya Kikwete, saying his inaugural speech in the Constituent Assembly (CA) has planted seeds of chaos and division among the Katiba team members.

Speaking on Saturday at a press conference here, they said Mr Kikwete, in his capacity as the Head of State, committed a mistake by touting the stand of the political party – CCM -- that he leads.

Chairperson of the gathering, Ms Susan Lyimo, said they were disappointed by Mr Kikwete’s criticism to the second Draft Constitution presented by the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) when he addressed the CA recently.

“We ask ourselves whether there is any link between the President’s remarks and the inauguration of the CA. It would have been better had he kept his feelings or views to himself or to the Commission. The CA was not the right place for the matters that he said,” Ms Lyimo said.

“It’s so dangerous for the President to express the stand of his party in the process of writing a new Constitution while the citizens have already given their views,” she said. She said the speech of the President, who is also the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, has confused many of the members of the CA, with some arguing whether there was still a need to discuss the Warioba Draft while the President has already completed the entire task. For her part, Ms Naomi Mwakyoma, another member of the gathering, said they were saddened by the President who was supposed to remain neutral in the Constitution making process.

“It is because of his speech that we are now experiencing increasing chaos and

differences among the members, he would be a person to blame if this process fails,” Ms Mwakyoma said.

“President Kikwete was the one who gave the CRC terms of reference for their task. There were many occasions when he praised the Commission for a job well done, especially when it submitted the Draft to him. How come he came to embarrass the team before the CA?” she queried.

She said as a result, the CA has not been delivering anymore.