Monday, 3 June 2013

Tanzania's Constitutional Review Commission to release first draft this afternoon

The Constitutional Review Commission will today unveil the first draft of the proposed new constitution. In this historic event, the CRC will outline the proposed new constitution before a televised live broadcast from Karimjee Hall. Tanzanians wait with baited breathe to see what the new constitutional will be like. After months of intense collection of views, deliberations and critical constitutional review, the Commission chairman Joseph Warioba will present us a proposed new law. The process has been largely successful in terms of citizen engagement, civil society input, political party proposals, inputs by various religious organizations and private citizens. 

Tanzania comes of age in this landmark occasion when the CRC unveils the first draft. The CRC process in itself earmarks the onset of a new constitutional order in the country. Tanzanians wait to see what the draft will say on critical issues such as the union between Tanzania mainland and Tanzania-Zanzibar. Of crucial importance shall be the system of governance and the nature of the union. Will it be a sole unitary state? or will it be a semi structured federal or decentralized state? will it be a two tier government system? This remains the most important section, which if correctly outlined and consented by the people shall either salvage or rock the union. Other crucial elements shall be the powers of the president, which must be trimmed and checked if we really envisage a democratic society. The role of parliament and the where the president shall draw his cabinet is also crucial. Civil liberties and rights of citizens is also of crucial importance. The rights of disabled members of society, inclusivity, increased democratic space among many are also areas that the draft should address.

Another very important segment that the draft should address is the role of provincial administration. The provincial administration has for decades been used as a ruling party arm where retired army generals who are CCM bigwigs, use the office as a CCM machinery for controlling regional resources. 

The issue of curbing the ever increasing religious intolerance should also be addressed. I trust that the draft will meet the expectations of the Tanzanian people. God bless Tanzania!      

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