Tanzania: MP who tore Opposition’s budget book in Parliament will not be punished

Wednesday June 19 2019

 

By The Citizen Reporter @TheCitizenTZ news@tz.nationmedia.com

Dodoma. Law maker who tore Opposition camp’s alternative budget booklet on Tuesday June 18 will walk scot-free despite call for action against him.

This was said by Deputy Speaker Dr Tulia Ackson said on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, that the legislative body will not punish the CCM lawmaker.

On Thursday last week, the Finance and Planning minister, Dr Philip Mpango, presented a Sh33.1 trillion budget in parliament for the 2019/20 financial year.

On Monday, the opposition bench presented its own version of budget in Parliament, pegging the revenue and expenditure plan at Sh29 trillion.

But debating the budget on Tuesday, Mr Augustine Vuma (Kasulu Rural - CCM), tore the opposition’s document, saying it was pure ‘trash’ and that the government was doing the right thing.

The tearing of the opposition’s document created commotion in the House, forcing Dr Ackson to order three opposition lawmakers out of the debating chambers.

The three included Ms Esther Matiko (Tarime Urban), Mr John Heche (Tarime Rural) and Dr Emmaculate Sware (Special Seats).

The issue came up once again on Wednesday when the opposition chief whip and Rombo Member of Parliament, Mr Joseph Serasini asked the Deputy Speaker’s guidance, saying the opposition bench remained disgruntled by the tearing of their alternative budget.

“Yesterday, you ruled that Parliamentary Standing Orders are silent on what punishment should apply to a lawmaker who tears a budget document. For the interest of peace in this August House, I propose that the MP be told to apologize and be sent to the Parliamentary Ethics and Privileges Committee for grilling over what he did,” he said.

He said opposition MPs may also decide to tear the minister’s speech.

“It may happen that an opposition MP will one day tear the speech by the minister. What will happen? The Opposition is angry,” he said. But in response, Dr Ackson asked MPs to have a good memory of what has been happening in the House, reminding them of how opposition lawmaker, Esther Bulaya (Bunda - Chadema) once threw the books in protest in the debating chamber.

“Esther Bulaya was not punished because of the books. Vuma will not be brought before any committee. In case you are not satisfied with the decision taken here, you have the freedom, under Order 5 (4), to write to the Clerk of Parliament and a hearing will be arranged,” said Dr Ackson.