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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Call for new constitution to curb grand corruption

9th April 2012
The cleric, Augustine Shao

On going constitutional reforms must take into consideration issues that will help to eliminate corruption amongst leaders, particularly top government officials, a Roman Catholic Church cleric has observed.

The cleric, Augustine Shao, who is the Church’s Archbishop for Zanzibar Diocese, sounded the remarks yesterday here when giving a sermon during Easter prayers held at the St Joseph Church here.

He said the writing of a new constitution was an opportunity to ensure that the new mother law takes care of the grand corruption problem, which he said was more prevalent in high-profile contracts signed by senior government leaders dishonestly.

Moreover, he said that a valuable new constitution shall be attained only if Tanzanians refrain from giving statements of ridicule, insults and aggressiveness when giving their views to the presidential commission formed last week to do the job.

“We want a new constitution that will be capable of eradicating corruption and prevent abuse of office,” stressed Archbishop Shao.

According to him, Tanzanians must be given the opportunity to decide on the size of the cabinet in order to have a government structure that reflects the economic status of the country.

“At the moment, our country is passing through a difficult era which is dominated by few leaders who are selfish,” he stressed.

Archbishop Shao added that, some leaders lack patriotism and love towards the country because they put personal interest at fore when signing contracts as a result; public funds get misused or lost on the way.

"The wave of leasing land to foreigners for up to 99 years under the pretext of boosting investments is a volatile issue, and it might take us back into slavery,” he said.

Archbishop Shao said that Tanzanians cannot avoid globalization, but said the system shouldn’t be allowed to give foreigners chance to own key natural resources and turning local people into slaves in their own country.

Regarding human rights, he said that discrimination practices were increasing in Zanzibar, saying that their perpetrators shouldn’t be allowed to undermine principles of human rights and the rule of law.

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