Pundits' expectations on incoming speaker

Pundits' expectations on incoming speaker

ACADEMICIANS and politicians have expressed optimism on the incoming Speaker of the Parliament, saying the new seat bearer should ensure the cordial relationship between the legislature and other pillars of the government for attainment of development goals.

They said the new Speaker should provide a room for members of the Parliament to properly oversee the government’s functions, for it to deliver to the maximum expectations of members of the public, by putting forward the national interest.

The stakeholders aired their views on Saturday during an online forum held under a theme ‘Election of a Speaker and the People’s Expectations over the Coming Head of the Legislature’.

Speaking during a symposium, the veteran politician and the former Member of Parliament, Mr Hamad Rashid Mohammed said the coming speaker should be bold in defending the national interests.

According to him, the new speaker must be knowledgeable of the parliamentary affairs and the needed responsibilities and determinations to head the institution that supervises the government on implementing development programmes for the interests of all Tanzanians.

“Since the Parliament is making decisions on the budget on Union affairs that cover Zanzibar, then it’s crucial for the incoming speaker to consider all the needed aspects,” he explained.

For his part, the Mvumi Member of Parliament on CCM ticket, Mr  Livingstone Lusinde expressed his optimism to the coming speaker that she will perform accordingly.

Already, the ruling party CCM has nominated the Deputy Speaker, Dr Tulia Ackson to run for the position of Speaker of the National Assembly in the election to be held early next month.

“In my opinion, I consider her as a competent candidate who is capable of leading the Legislature and maintaining a good relationship with other pillars - the Executive and the Judiciary,” noted Mr Lusinde.

He added: "We expect her to raise the morale of parliament in collaborating with the government and hold it accountable for broader interest of the country."

The University of Dar es Salaam's Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Professor Bernadeta Killian said that in the past 60 year of independence, the country has managed to build the Parliament as strong institution to withstand changes.

 She said that, since the country managed to endure changes in Executive after the death of the Fifth Phase President, Dr John Magufuli, it can also pass smoothly in the ongoing Parliament reforms.

 "The Parliament is currently undergoing reforms, we didn't expect if the speaker could resign, it is the time where the strength and resilience of our parliament is being tested," Prof Killian said.

She noted that as the House is going to get its new speaker there are expectations that she is going to be a woman. Tanzania is going to write another history of having two women leaders heading two government pillars (Executive and Parliament)."

She said that in addition to other responsibilities the Parliament has the key role of building democracy in the country.

 Prof Killian noted that, the coming speaker is expected to be facilitative and impartial to allow effective representation of wananchi.

" In order for the parliament to   function properly there is a need for the  coming speaker  to  consider  competency  and professionalism of  her staff as well as building  their capacity and  motivate them,"  Prof Killian said.

The don also stressed the need for the new speaker to embrace digitalisation in parliament operations which will help to communicate with lawmakers, monitor their undertakings as well as facilitating media relationship with people.

"There is also a need  for the parliament to have different forums that will help  to increase public accessibility  to the House ... the coming speaker  should also consider reinstating  live  sessions to allow people to be aware of what is going on in the House,” she said.

CCM through its Central Committee (CC) meeting, nominated Dr Ackson on Thursday to vie for the post left vacant after the resignation of former Speaker, Mr Job Ndugai.

The election to pick Mr Ndugai’s successor will be the first order of business when the Parliament resumes early next month.

CCM Ideology and Publicity Secretary, Shaka Hamidu Shaka told reporters in Dodoma that the party caucus will meet on January 31 to vote for or against Dr Tulia as their candidate for the post.

If she is endorsed, her name will now be brought before Members of Parliament together with others from the opposition and independent candidates to be voted for or against.

Reacting to the pick, former Speaker of National Assembly, Pius Msekwa, who served in the post from 1995 to 2005, welcomed the nomination of Dr Tulia, saying: “I have personally been delighted by my party’s decision to nominate Dr Tulia simply, because she displayed an outstanding performance when she served as Deputy Speaker.”



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