Forum asks for clear date on restarting constitutional review

19Mar 2017
Aisia Rweyemamu
Guardian On Sunday
Forum asks for clear date on restarting constitutional review

The Tanzania Constitutional Forum (TCF) has called upon President John Magufuli to speak out on the exact date of the reinstatement of the constitutional review process.

Chairman of Tanzania Constitution Forum (Jukata) Deus Kibamba, speaks to journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday

The chairman of TFC, Deus Kibamba told reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the government has to give the public the new constitution they have been demanding for years.
“This new constitution is within the CCM manifesto vision. We are therefore very surprised with the president standing saying it was not his priority,” he said.

In November last year at the State House during his first meeting with the media the president declared that the constitutional reform process was not one of his priorities, stressing he never mentioned it during the presidential election campaigns.

He said the only agenda he had was to reforming the country and ensuring that many Tanzanians have a better life while at the same time making sure that all basic services are provided to the public when needed.

However….Kibamba told reporters that on March 2 this year a team of 150 experts on constitutional issues met in Dar es Salaam for discussing the fate of new constitution and came up with nine resolutions, including a proposal to hold a meeting with President Magufuli.

“We want the president to issue a government notice on when will the process start, as this is among areas of implementation of the party manifesto which laid emphasis on obtaining a new constitution,” the forum chairman underlined.

According to Kibamba, the constitutional forum formed a team of experts from various institutions to formulate a discussion framework when meeting with the president, in advising him on the best way to restart the constitutional review process.

The TCF chairman said that although the president issued his stand on the constitutional process but still they believe that the announced standing might be issued due to political force because the new constitutional standing is well attributed in party’ manifesto which is now implemented by the government.

The forum asked president Magufuli to set funds in the coming 2017/18 national budget to finance the process of re-establishing the constitutional process.

However they asked the minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe to bring to the legislature a bill on amending two laws governing the process of the new constitution because the previous legislation is now outdated. The two laws are the Constitutional Amendment law No 8 of 2011 and the projected referendum law of 2013.

The fourth phase president, Jakaya Kikwete officially ended the term of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) established as per the Constitutional Review Act of 2011 when the draft constitution was put in place, implying the commission would not be handed any further work on the issue.