Tanzania: Magufuli Puts Katiba Re-Writing Debate to Rest

PRESIDENT John Magufuli has put to rest the debate on the re-writing of a new constitution for the United Republic of Tanzania, categorically stating that the priority of his government is undertaking development projects for the benefit of Tanzanians.

Speaking during a symposium to mark three years since he assumed the presidency at the Nkurumah Hall of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Dr Magufuli stressed that the Fifth Phase Government had no plans to allocate funds for revising the constitution.

“There are some people out there who have been asking questions on whether we should start from the draft constitution by Judge Warioba (former Prime Minister) or start afresh the re-writing process, but that is not the priority of my government,” he stated.

Dr Magufuli pointed to the fact that re-writing the constitution is an expensive task for a developing country like Tanzania and urged stakeholders with the view to instead provide funds for development projects in the country.

“There are some developed countries whose constitutions were drafted in the 1880’s, but they have been just undertaking some amendments; if you ask me today, revision of the constitution is not a priority,” he emphasised.

President Magufuli went on and castigated proponents of re-writing the basic law of the land, whom he described as opportunists wanting the process for personal gains through allowances provided to members of the Constituent Assembly.

Let us put that debate on constitution aside; we should embark on development projects. If there is someone out there who had plans for supporting us on re-writing the constitution then he/she should assist us in implementing development projects,” he stated.

The latest move by President Magufuli is not strange as he categorically stated few days after assuming the highest office of the land that re-writing of the constitution was neither included among his pledges nor the manifesto of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

“I covered 42,500 kilometres during my campaign trail across the country, but I did not, at any one time promise, a new constitution,” Dr Magufuli is quoted during his past statements on new constitution.

Adding; “Let me develop Tanzania first,” he emphasised, noting that there were many examples of countries with the best written laws, but with nothing to write home about in terms of development.

The process to re-write the basic law of the country was ushered in during the Fourth Phase government under former President Jakaya Kikwete but ended up prematurely due to some technicalities.


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Publish date : 2018-11-02 07:12:55

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