Thursday, 2 January 2014

Muungano: Let this not overshadow the Constitution Debate

I firmly believe in constitutionalism and the rule of law. I believe proper laws are the drivers of economic development. With Tanzania engaged in a constitution process, am pleased that we as a people have realized the importance of drafting a new constitution. The Constitution Review Commission of Tanzania headed by retired Judge Joseph Warioba has released a second draft in December 2013. (See my blog for other analysis regarding the first draft). 

Topical issues that are central in the constitution have been mainly the issue of the Union, the powers of the president and integrity of civil servants amongst others. I feel that we are so much ingrained in the issues of the political union of Tanzania mainland (Tanganyika) and Tanzania Zanzibar (Zanzibar) and forgetting to debate on other important articles of the proposed draft. I am not belaboring people's interests in the topic of the union debate but much emphasis should also be directed in the discussion of other issues arising from the draft law. Issues such as leadership and integrity, leadership and accountability, natural resource management, human rights and the rule of law, separation of power in the three arms of government, freedoms of press, fostering national unity among others. 

The process should also be owned and driven by people. Civil society organizations should play incisive role in making this process owned by the people and not be a political agenda or a preserve of the politician. 

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