The ongoing 20th Parliamentary meeting could go down in the history of Bunge business under the fourth phase government as one that recorded poorest attendance as many Members of Parliament are currently reportedly touring constituencies, resulting in them missing sessions of the august House.
Analysts say for most of them the ‘election fever’ is due to fear of losing their parliament seats to prospective new candidates, prompting them “to deal” with the situation in the constituencies.
Additionally, there are also those reportedly on missions to offer gifts to voters to ensure re-election. The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) is already investigating a case in the Lake Zone to ascertain if the gifts were for influencing voters, during primaries expected to start next month.
An MP who is also a minister, preferring anonymity, could not hide his feelings. Most incumbent MPs are thinking about their political fate, he said. “I can tell you tension is very high …everyone wants to be an MP.
“I have heard that Dodoma urban constituency has attracted 40 aspirants,” confided the minister as he took breakfast at Parliament’s restaurant on Friday.
Missing Parliament sessions cause hitches, at times compelling the Speaker or Chairpersons to ring the bell to summon the MPs back to the debating chamber to muster the required quorum to pass the budgets.
However, the MPs’ attendance has improved this week and it is mainly because of CCM meetings being convened in this designated national capital. The CCM legislators who are the majority in the House are, according to the ruling party’s constitution, members of the CCM general meeting taking place today at Kizota.
Some of them are members of the CCM National Executive Committee (NEC) that held meetings on Friday when it had the task of screening Zanzibar presidential candidates.
Analysts also note that the ongoing Parliament meeting has offered a good platform for the legislators to declare intentions of defending their seats in the House or call it quit.
So far there are MPs who have declared that they will not defend their seats. They are Steven Galinoma (CCM-Kalenga), Rita Mlaki (CCM-Kawe), Charles Keenja(CCM- Ubungo) Chrisant Mzindakaya( CCM- Kwela) and Paul Kimiti( CCM- Shinyanga Urban). Mlaki has, however, said she would contest a parliamentary seat through a non-governmental organisation (NGOs) docket.
Aware that the sessions are aired live by national TV channels, the MPs exploited the opportunity to explain what they achieved in the past five years in their respective constituencies.
Mudhihiri Mudhihiri (CCM- Mchinga) stole the show in Parliament on Friday morning when he said though some new aspirants “were running fast in his constituency” they should not expect to win because he was smart enough to “know all the routes.”
“I would like to send greetings to voters in the constituency that there are people there who are running very fast but as far as I am concerned I know the routes,” Mudhihir said, causing MPs to burst into laughter.
As a strategy to win in the coming October election, some MPs have invited key players like teachers and CCM leaders from their respective areas to witness the Parliament sessions in Dodoma.