Members of Parliament-elect set to elect the speaker on Friday, have said the person must stand for the truth, defend national interest and not favour particular groups or party.
Speaking here in an exclusive interview with The Guardian yesterday, some openly said they preferred the outgoing speaker to continue running the House.
Others however warned that the new parliament has new faces and more opposition members, demanding that the speaker be someone capable of handling the changed scenario.
Longido (CCM) MP-elect, Michael Lekule Laizer said the new House needs a Speaker who stands for the truth and has the interest of the country at heart.
“We need a person who will not be looking after the interests of certain groups of people or groups within a party. Nor do we want a speaker who will be leading the Parliament under the influence of some few people or groups,” he said.
Ngorongoro CCM MP-elect – Kaika Saning’o Telele was of the same view, but added that they wanted a speaker who will continue to administer the House effectively and efficiently.
“We want a Speaker who will stand for the national interests and who does not favour particular groups,” he stressed.
New Nzega CCM MP-elect Dr Hamis Kigwangallah told this paper that he expected a Speaker who is balanced and who would give equal opportunities to all members of parliament, regardless of party affiliation, the chance to contribute ideas for the development of the nation.
“We want a Speaker who is aware of what is happening around the world; who can ensure there is true democracy in the House and give the MPs liberty to speak out, so that at the end of the day the nation benefits. We do not want somebody who will gag us,” said Dr Kigwangallah.
Maswa West (Chadema) MP-elect, John Shibuda advised the ruling party to elect somebody with vision to lead the House.
He advised CCM’s Central Committee to carefully scrutinise the applicants and pick a person who will lead the House in the right direction.
Reports from within the ruling party said today the Central Committee will meet to pick three names to be forwarded to CCM MPs who will pick one of them to vie for the Speaker’s seat.
Habibu Mnyaa MP-elect for Mkanyageni (CUF) said he preferred the outgoing Speaker to continue leading the National Assembly, adding that he has brought positive changes in the House.
“We want a Speaker who is strong, so that he can control the House,” he said.
Mbeya Urban Chadema MP-elect, Joseph Mbilinyi said the new speaker has to give equal chance to all MPs to debate on issues of national interest.
“We do not need a speaker who will only look after his party’s interests. We need somebody who will not be biased,” said Mbilinyi.
Dr Festus Limbu (CCM, Magu) said people want a speaker who will harmonise the three pillars, namely the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature and successfully resolve antagonisms that might be generated in the House.
Dr Limbu said the speaker has to keep in mind that for the first time the Parliament will have more MPs from the opposition side.
“We want somebody who can run the debates without favouring his party. But we need a person who has great experience in leading the House, and must ensure that the budget which is actually spent on the projects stated and not otherwise,” said Dr Limbu.
Dr Athumani Mfutakamba CCM MP-elect for Igalula said he believes in a speaker who will lead the House on the basis of rules and regulations that are set to meet the needs of the people and the country.
Kahama CCM MP-elect, James Lembeli and Mbozi West CCM MP-elect, Godfrey Zambi stated that they were supporting Samuel Sitta for re-election to the Speaker’s post, adding that he performed well in the last five years.
They said they wanted him to finish the House improvement programme which he started in 2005.
Already underground campaigns are continuing across party lines here, mounted by those seeking the post.
Meanwhile MPs began arriving in Dodoma yesterday, ready for registration today.