Do Kabudi and Lukuvi’s new roles clash with the constitution?

Tuesday January 11 2022
By Louis Kalumbia

Dar es Salam. President Samia Suluhu Hassan revealed yesterday why she dropped, Mr William Lukuvi and Prof Palamagamba Kabudi from her cabinet, saying the two will become her advisors at State House.

The President said Prof Kabudi did an outstanding job in the supervision of discussions between the government and organisations and that she intended to completely entrust him with the job.

“Since his job is not in the structures, it is not going to be broadcasted, however partnerships that will be entered between the government and organisations will be supervised by a team led by Prof Kabudi,” she said, crediting him as the ‘father’ of contracts and negotiations.

She added: “My brother Lukuvi will have a special job with me as you will just hear in his move to the State House…Our job will be supervising you and permanent secretaries.”

She dismissed mainstream and social media speculations that Mr Lukuvi has been dropped to pave the way for him to vie for the National Assembly Speaker position.

But, her statement at State House Dodoma was considered to be a puzzle because Article 52 (1) and (3) of the United Republic of Tanzania  Constitution spells out that the  supervision of ministers is a constitutional responsibility of the Prime Minister.

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Prof Kabudi on the other hand would undertake responsibilities entrusted to the Attorney General through Article 59 (3) of the United Republic of Tanzania's Constitution.

“The Attorney General shall be responsible for advising the government of the URT on all legal matters, and to discharge any other functions pertaining to or connected with law,” reads part of sub-article.

Then conflicting of roles were supported by the University of Dar es Salaam (Udsm) political science lecturer, Dr Richard Mbunda saying the President through her earlier speech pledged to drop inefficient ministers and those with 2025 election ambitions.

“The statement led to resignation of National Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai. But, the statement issued yesterday that some of dropped ministers were specifically dropped to be made her advisors is puzzling,” he said.

“People cannot exactly know which statement is right; the first or the second,” he added.

He said the Head of State could have been touched with implications made to the duo especially Mr Lukuvi who are among the highly trusted CCM cadres and that she was trying to pour cold water on the charcoal.

According to Dr Mbunda, having advanced age it is sometimes difficult to control them, noting that the President could have dropped them and remain with the young blood that can easily be controlled.

He said Article 36 (1) of the URT Constitution that reads: “Subject to the other provisions of this Constitution and of any other law, the President shall have power to constitute and to abolish any office in the service of the Government of the United Republic” the government has powers to establish different posts to increase efficiency of his/her government.

“Therefore, when this is properly discussed with her assistants, the President has constitutional powers to make the duo ministers without portfolio,” he said.

According to him, the two dropped ministers have been obedient to their seniors and haven’t shown political ambitious for presidency that could trigger the President’s close monitoring, otherwise if the arguments are proved beyond reasonable doubts.

He was supported by an independent political analyst, Mr Buberwa Kaiza who was of the view that the President’s decision was temporary to calm CCM stalwarts angered by her first statement to the duo who are considered as party loyalists.

According to him, public opinion on social media expresses dissatisfaction over the President’s first statement on the two ministers, noting that yesterday’s statement responded to the views.

“Making the duo assistants of the Presidents brings in another puzzle because they could effectively and efficiently assist her when retained in the cabinet,” he said.

The two analysts were supported by another political analyst and former Tanzania Constitution Platform (TCF) chairman, Mr Deus Kibamba who said President Hassan used a high tone in her first speech.

He said Prof Kabudi, Prof Mkumbo and Mr Lukuvi are not supposed to be implicated with presidential aspiration in the forthcoming president as claimed by the President.

“In-depth contemplation has forced President Hassan to make corrections because the public is aware that the dropped five ministers were those hinted by the President,” he said.

However, he said the Head of State could aim at reducing political enemies after her recent difference with ex-National Assembly Speaker, Mr Job Ndugai.

“No one is dreaming for the presidency among the dropped ministers.

“Their focus could be the National Assembly Speaker and Prime Minister’s positions because anything could happen in the ongoing political dynamisms,” he said - noting that the 2025 presidential campaigning camps are yet to be formed.