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Constitution review remedy to system

Constitution review remedy to system

This followed reports by Parliamentary Committees of Public Organization Accounts Committee (POAC), Local Authorities Fund (LAF) Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as well as that of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) that revealed massive misuse of public funds in all sectors of the Central and Local Governments.

The revelations prompted intense debate in the House with legislators angrily calling for immediate resignation of ministers implicated in the Committees and CAG’s reports. Zitto Zuberi Kabwe (Kigoma-Chadema) and chairperson of POAC on Friday spearheaded 70 (20 per cent of the 320 MPs) signatures to warrant him to move a private motion of no confidence with the Prime Minister to take accountability for inefficiency of government ministers.

Speaker Makinda and host of the ruling party CCM legislators intervened the process challenging it as unprocedural as it would require at least 14 days from the time they are submitted to the Speaker’s office. In which case it would not be effected in the current session which ends on Tuesday.

Others said holding the PM accountable was unfair because  the ministers are appointed by the President. He can only advise the President. These are pertinent issues that involve the performance of the government as raised by the Committees and the CAG. It There have been problems concerning the performance of the government for sometimes now that something should have been done to address them.

The procedure to hold government ministers accountable are clear as stated by the Speaker. But we are saying, the problems notwithstanding, our parliamentarians have a share of blame for the anomalies taking place in the country, especially those reported from local government because they are part of the District Councils’ leadership together with councillors.

We have cases where MPs and councillors have been part of problems in local governments prompted by their personal gains. For example, the introduced voucher system is a very good endavour meant to subsidise fertilizer to farmers to increase agricultural yield and revolutionalize the agricultural sector, but has been abused by council leaders in which MPs sit and could have played their watchdog roles but this has not happened.

A good example is Kasulu District where council staff have enriched themselves through the voucher system. There are vivid cases where some people had built guest houses and named them Voucher Guest Houses. Where were the MPs when this has reached such a shameful proportion?

Why should the blame go to Ministers only? Where is their oversight role? Again, we have to look at this issue in a bigger picture. The rot that we are experiencing in this country is the outcome of the system that allows political leaders to be ministers. Rwanda, for example, has adopted a system whereby ministers are professionals and are selected on merit rather than political affiliation. Rwanda today is one of the best practices in terms of accountability by its government ministers.

It is now an opportunity to seriously consider correcting this anomaly in our government system through the Constitutional review process which is starting in May, this year. We need to get away with the Westminster colonial hangover where ministers are affiliated to political systems of the governments.

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Author: EDITOR

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