The government has reproduced 200,000 copies of the Constitution in an effort to enable the people understand its contents and thereby give informed views when contributing their opinions to a presidential committee formed to oversee constitutional reforms.
The copies are part of 500,000 the government expects to reprint in the process of re-writing the Union Constitution.
This was revealed yesterday in the National Assembly by Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda when responding to a direct question by Hussein Mussa Mzee (Jang’ombe, CCM) who has wanted to know how far the government has gone in implementing its pledges.
Mzee had the view that the process to collect public views had started while still there was a need for people to have gone through the constitution so that their can give informed opinions.
Responding, the Prime Minister said that the government had earlier pledged to reprint 500,000 copies of the constitution, but there was a request from various groups that the copies were few.
He said so far the government had already reprinted 200,000 copies out of 500,000. However, he didn’t state when authorities would start giving out the reprinted copies to the people.
Pinda said that the Constitutional Review Commission formed by President Jakaya Kikwete has embarked on a process of summarising the constitution so that it could be easily understood by majority of Tanzanians.
“The Commission has found it wise to simply the language of the document instead of distributing it as it is to the general public because our intention is to ensure that the people understand it will and contribute positively to the new constitution,” Pinda said.
The government through its former Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs Celina Kombani promised in the previous Parliament session that it will reprint and distribute copies of the constitution to various institutions countrywide for free.
Kombani said that the copies would be distributed to government and non-government institutions. ''We'll start with government and non government institutions, universities, colleges and secondary schools,''
Only few government shops sell the 1977 Constitution and they are located in Mwanza, Arusha, Dodoma, Morogoro and Dar es Salaam regions.