Dodoma. The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Job Ndugai is at it again. This time around, he has written to the Pan African Parliament (PAP) President, seeking immediate recall of the body’s (PAP’s) First Vice President, Mr Stephen Masele’s membership to legislative body of the African Union (AU).
Mr Masele, who served as deputy minister in former President Jakaya Kikwete’s administration, is also a Member of Parliament (MP) in Tanzania.
Mr Ndugai told the House in the morning on Thursday, May 16, 2019, that Mr Masele has been acting in a manner that was in contempt of the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania.
“Honorable Masele has been conducting himself in a manner that puts two pillars of the government – the parliament and the executive – at loggerheads. The false words that he has been delivering to higher offices of the executive arm are meant to tarnish the image of the legislative body,” he said.
He did not divulge details of the actual words that Mr Masele is alleged to have uttered but [he] said efforts to summon the lawmaker to come back to Tanzania and appear before the Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers Committee for interrogations have proved futile.
A letter, circulating on various social media platforms, which The Citizen could not immediately verify says Mr Ndugai had written a letter to the President of PAP and copied to Masele, recalling him (Masele) so he could attend an urgent personal matter.
“In addition, my office wrote two additional letters directly to yourself, emphasizing the urgency of your recall but despite the said remainders and extension of time for you to report to the clerk’s office, you have not complied with the order,” the letter reads.
“Regrettably, I am writing to inform you that I have temporarily suspended your membership of PAP until your pending charges at the Parliamentary Privileges, Powers and Ethics Committee have been resolved.”
Mr Ndugai said on Thursday that upon returning, Mr Masele would also have to appear before his party’s (the ruling-CCM) disciplinary committee for grilling.
“He should no longer be our representative in PAP until we resolve the matter,” he noted.
PAP has 255 members, representing the 55 African Union (AU) member states that ratified the Protocol establishing it.
There are five representatives for each country, who must include at least one woman and reflect the diversity of political representation in the national Parliament.
Though the bone of contention between the Speaker and Mr Masele was not made public on Thursday, May 16, 2019, some of the latter’s twits suggest that there could be misunderstandings between him (Masele) and PAP’s President, Cameroonian legislator, Roger Nkodo Dang.
A few minutes after the Speaker’s utterance, Mr Masele twitted: “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that. I am professional, coming from the disciplined, highly process-oriented Banking and Telecom. I am well raised by parents, upholding social values and respect”.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Masele twitted: “Mr President, I understand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law. PAP has a Protocol and Rules. If you think I'm going to sit here and just tell you what you want to hear, I'm not that man because I'm going to tell you exactly how I see it.
A few minutes later, he twitted: “Mr President, I think we do not have a common value system. PAP has a moral responsibility to ensure we protect the rights of women against sexual harassment in working place.”