The Constitution Review Commission (CRC) Chairman, Judge Joseph Warioba, said it has received views in eight regions so far and was having a 'clue' on the type of a constitution that people want.
"It has been a good start and as of now we have a clue on what people want to be included in the new constitution," Judge Warioba, who has also served as prime minister and first vice-president, told journalists at a news conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
A total of 17,440 people aired their views at 386 meetings it conducted while 29,180 others presented their views in writing, according to Judge Warioba. He, however, added that not all those who attended the meetings aired their views.
The commission also conducted eight separate meetings with representatives of religious institutions as well as defence and security organs. Between July 02 and August 03, this year, the CRC conducted meetings in eight regions selected from Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.
It covered Dodoma, Shinyanga, Kagera, Tanga, Coast and Manyara in addition to Unguja and Pemba South. While noting that a number of people who turned out at the meetings did not understand specific sections of the current constitution, he appreciated the fact that most Tanzanians understood general terms of the constitution.
"I think time has come that even we, the intellectuals, should be humble enough and learn from the people at the grassroots," he said. Judge Warioba said the committee would resume the exercise of collecting people's views after August 26, this year, where seven regions would be covered.
"We had planned to have a one week recess but we decided to stay longer so that we do not collide with the National Population and Housing census slated for August 26, this year," he explained.
The CRC Secretary, Mr Asaa Ahmad Rashid, listed regions that would be covered in the next phase as Mbeya, Morogoro, Lindi, Kigoma and Mwanza as well as Katavi and Ruvuma.
In a bid to ensure that every opinion is captured, the CRC employs three mediums namely video and audio recordings which are directly fitted into the public address system as well as people who take note of people giving their views.
"We capture every view that is aired by the people. In fact, after every two weeks audio records are relayed to our headquarters electronically," he said. The CRC has 18 months to collect views from all over the country.
However, Judge Warioba warned against indoctrination towards the constitution review process, expressing concern that there were some people who have been 'feeding opinions' to the people to serve their own interests.
The country plans to have a new constitution by the time it marks 50 years of the union between the then Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The new constitution is expected to be used in the 2015 General Election.