Dar es Salaam. Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe has asked the Arumeru East MP (Chadema) Joshua Nassary to come out and tell Tanzanians the truth on what exactly happened until he had himself stripped of his parliamentary seat.
“I spoke to Mr Nassary yesterday and today in the morning and I directed him to speak to Tanzanians today and explain what really happened,” said Mr Mbowe.
He was speaking with reporters today, March 15, 2019, in his first press conference since the court in Dar es Salaam set him and Chadema’s Women Wing (Bavicha) treasurer Ms Esther Matiko free.
The two, who spent three months behind bars, appealed to the Court of Appeal to have their bail reinstated. This was granted and the ruling was delivered by Judge Sam Rumanyika.
The Parliament has attributed the decision to strip Mr Nassary’s of his parliamentary seat to his absenteeism while the latter maintaining that he had communicated the reason for his absence to the Speaker of the National Assembly.
He told The Citizen on Thursday that he was surprised that the head of the legislature went ahead and declared his seat vacant.
“I made it clear that I would be absent from the sessions because I would be out of the country with my wife, who gave birth two days before the Parliament convened,” said Mr Nassary.
Earlier on Wednesday, the National Assembly Office said in a statement that it had written to the National Electoral Commission (NEC) chairman SemistoclesKaijage informing him that the Arumeru East east was vacant after Mr Nassary lost eligibility.
The statement alleged that Mr Nassary missed three consecutive parliamentary sittings, namely those held from September 4 to 14 and November 6 to 16, last year, and January 29 to February 9, this year.
But Mr Mbowe thinks there is an ill will surrounding the decision, associating it with “sabotages” that he claims to have been made against the opposition parties in recent days.
“I cannot defend any MP, regardless of his or her political party, who skips parliamentary and committee meetings. Attending these meetings is very important,” said Mr Mbowe.
But he said neither he, as the Leader of Opposition in the Parliament, nor the office was informed before the action was taken nor they learnt about it like the rest of people through the social media.
“It is not true that Mr Nassary didn’t attend all the sittings [as the National Assembly Office notes]. And even if that was the case, the issue was supposed to be dealt with administratively,” he said.
Mr Mbowe advised against the organizing of another by-election which he called will be a “farce” and which abuse the taxpayers’ money which would be directed to more useful expenditures for their development.