LHRC unveils Bunge budget session report

06Jul 2016
The Guardian
LHRC unveils Bunge budget session report

LEGAL Human Right Center (LHRC) yesterday launched a preliminary report on the just-ended Parliament session, calling on Speaker Job Ndugai and Deputy Dr Tulia Ackson to exercise restraint and treat lawmakers from all political parties fairly.

LHRC executive director, Dr Hellen Kijo-Bisimba

Speaking on behalf of LHRC executive director, Dr Hellen Kijo-Bisimba, Advocacy and Reform Director, Anna Henga said the speaker and his deputy as well as National Assembly chairpersons should observe the constitution and available regulations when making decisions.

“Members of Parliament represent national interests, thus party politics and personal interests shouldn’t be brought in the House,” said Henga, adding that two-bit politicking has led to unnecessary bickering between CCM legislators and those from the opposition.

She said the squabbling resulted in opposition MPs boycotting sessions for over three weeks, much to the chagrin of the public.

Parliament as an independent pillar of state should not be interfered or influenced by other pillars when implementing its duties, she said.

Commenting on the constitutional process, Henga said that the government should restart the process, adding that the move should go in tandem with setting a budget for that purpose.

Despite promises by President John Magufuli, chances for the process to be restarted are slim since there are no funds set as aside to that effect in this year’s budget.

She further said that when unveiling the 2016/2017 budget in Dodoma this year, the Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Philip Mpango did not outline the amount dedicated to restarting the process.

LHRC acting executive director, Imelda Urio said that the government’s decision to ban live Bunge broadcasts is contrary to article 18 of the country’s Constitution which gives the right to everyone to receive information.

She said the reason given by the state to cancel the live broadcasts because it is costly does not hold water.