Speaker: 19 Special Seats MPs ‘are in good hands’

04May 2021
By Guardian Reporter
Dodoma
The Guardian
Speaker: 19 Special Seats MPs ‘are in good hands’

NATIONAL Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai has allayed fears over the 19 Special Seats MPs from the leading opposition party, Chadema saying they should continue with their responsibilities without any fear as they were in good hands.

Ndugai was forced to provide the clarification yesterday following remarks from the party’s top leadership demanding President Samia Suluhu Hassan to intervene on the issue of the legality of the said MPs, to be in the legislative chamber.

Party chairman Freeman Mbowe said in widely quoted remarks that the 19 MPs led by Halima Mdee, the former chairperson of the party’s women organisation, BAWACHA, were expelled from the party in November last year.

Ther differences arose after they were sworn in as MPs, a move the party contested saying it had not cleared the party’s participation in the legislature.

The MPs are Agnesta Kaiza, Nusrat Hanje, Asia Mohamed, Felister Njau, Stela Fiyao, Halima Mdee, Grace Tendega, Esther Matiko, Cecilia Paresso, Esther Bulaya, Jesca Kishoa and Hawa Mwaifunga.

Others are Tunza Malapo, Naghenjwa Kaboyoka, Sophia Mwakagenda, Kunti Majala, Anatropia Theonest, Salome Makamba and Conchesta Rwamlaza.

Clarifying the position of the House leadership, Ndugai said there were procedures to be followed to expel an MP.

‘I like to tell political parties that I am an experienced Speaker, I have been here in Parliament for 20 years, approaching 25, I have sufficient experience, there are people making noises that Ndugai is violating the constitution, they do not know what they are talking about,” he declared.

“The secretary general of any political party can write to me a letter on a controversial issue touching on the constitution. Do not write me a leaflet saying ‘I am so and so and say the Speaker take action, expel so and so from Parliament…,” he said.

“He should write me a letter attached with his party’s constitution because I, as Speaker, cannot know party constitutions. He should also attach minutes of the party sitting that made the decision to expel the MPs because it is possible the secretary just wakes up and writes a letter requiring me to expel MPs. I will be an amazing Speaker if I did that,” he further stated.

“Just write an official letter that I should read and then pass it to my legal experts, as I have many of them to evaluate it, if it is OK. They will check whether the members of the party’s central committee that decided to expel the MPs were legally constituted. I will then ask the Registrar of Political Parties for advice.”

There are political parties being run dictatorially, employing patriarchy, he stated, elaborating that even if such a letter came from the ruling party it would be taken up just like this letter from the opposition. “If it is like this one I would have disregarded it,” he affirmed.

Political parties also need to stop undermining women in representative positions, he added.

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