Tanzania: APRM gets new Parliamentary member

By Hassan Abbas, Dodoma – The National Assembly yesterday unanimously selected the Maswa legislator, John Magare Shibuda (Chadema) to represent the National Assembly in the National Governing Council (NGC) of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Tanzania chapter.

Mr. Shibuda went unopposed after rulling party CCM’s Martha Umbula (Special Seats) withdrew from the race due to unknown reasons. “Until Sunday only two lawmakers had filled in and returned the forms. But today CCM candidate submitted a letter to withdrawal from the race,” said the returning officer who is also the Clerk of the National Assembly, Dr. Thomas Kashilillah.

The APRM NGC is the highest policy making board at the country level and it is charged among other things, to oversee the periodic governance assessments, preparations of quality country self good governance assessment reports and ensure that the process is inclusive of all stakeholders and all principles of conducting the researches are adhered to.

Currently the APRM Tanzania NGC is composed of 20 members; four from government, two being members of Parliament and the rest are selected among private sector and civil societies so that the whole process is not dominated by bureaucrats.

Mr. Shibuda’s election replaces another Chadema lawmaker, Said Arfi who during his tenure was instrumental in representing APRM interests in the Parliament especially pressuring for improved budgetary allocations and government seriousness. CCM’s former Special Seats Shally Raymond will be replaced at a later date as CCM’s candidate withdrew from the race.

APRM was incepted in 2003 by the African Union heads of states and government under the NEPAD auspices to mainly deal with governance assessments and advocacy for the adoption of laws, policies and best governance practices across the African continent.

The process took off in Tanzania in mid 2007 and by 2009 the Country Self Assessment report was concluded and later on validated across the country. The country now awaits a significant stage in the process-external review mission before the government starts implementing the gaps.