Dar es Salaam. Opposition political parties and commentators yesterday commended the CCM advice to its government to consider on the best way of reviving and completing the new constitution writing process.
They also proposed that the contents of the Constitutional Reform Commission (CRC) and the Proposed Constitution (PC) should be the process starting point.
Political stakeholders made the statement reacting to a statement by CCM’s Ideology and Publicity secretary Shaka Hamdu Shaka when briefing reporters about key issues that transpired during the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) held in Dodoma on Wednesday.
He said CCM and Chadema have engaged in consensus meetings, noting that the ruling party has been actively participating in every step of deliberations.
According to him, CCM has directed the government to fast-track political motivated cases filed in different courts across the country and that the opposition is emphasizing the need for the document in the country.
“Considering the current environment, the government should see how best the new constitution writing process could be revived and completed for the interest of Tanzanians and the country at large,” he said over the phone.
He assured political parties that CCM would continue to strengthen the country’s democracy without affecting the present peace, security and solidarity.
Speaking to The Citizen, Chadema’s deputy secretary general (Mainland) Benson Kigaila said they tabled new constitution and the need for formation of a truth and reconciliation commission.
“The new constitution will address issues of independent electoral commission, challenging presidential election results in courts as well as amending laws to ensure future elections are free, independent and credible,” he said.
Regarding the truth and reconciliation commission, he said its function would be healing wounds of citizens following unjust incidents from a past administration.
“The commission will be responsible to ensure that such incidents will not repeat in future,” he said, appreciating the CCM understanding.
He said a committee of experts must evaluate citizen’s opinions present in the CRC and the PC and trash those that are not progressive.
In his tweet, ACT-Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe said his party welcomed the CCM initiative with two hands.
“We @ACTwazalendo have been at the forefront in providing advice on proper means of getting the document. #Independent electoral commission ahead the new constitution is gaining momentum,” reads his tweet in part.
CUF Protocol, Communications and Foreign Affairs director Mohamed Ngulangwa said the party’s 2020 manifestor supported by clerics and political players has gained support.
“The decision has demonstrated the ruling party’s support to citizen’s opinions and demands. The process should be revived from where we ended with the CRC and the PC,” he said.
He expressed his confidence that the document could be ready by 2025, provided those responsible will be committed enough.
But, a political science lecturer from the University of Dar es Salaam (Udsm), Prof Bakari Mohamed, said it was difficult to get the document before 2025.
“Election laws could be amended and an independent electoral commission could be formed to take care of the 2025 General Election,” he said.
The Udsm don also observed that the new constitution also requires a transition period, something that was observed in the Wariod Draft Constitution.
He said the CCM decision provided hope to citizens, saying the ruling party is mandated at supervising the government and maintaining the country’s peace and tranquility.