Tanzania:APRM: peoples’ views should prevail on future of Union

By Correspondent, Dar es Salaam – The African Union (AU) programme for governance assessment-the Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Tanzania chapter has urged for views of the people to prevail on the future structure of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar which formed the United Republic of Tanzania.

Submitting the opinion of its stakeholders’ before a section of members of the Constitution Review Commission on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam, the APRM Tanzania Executive Secretary, Ms Rehema Twalib said their researchers have found out that the views of the people on the Union are diverse.

“While our findings in the APRM report are clear that there are a number of Union queries which should be resolved, the views are so diverse on the future structure of the Union,” said Ms Rehema adding that: “On this basis APRM cannot have its own opinion on the matter but to leave it for the Constitution Review Commission to thoroughly consult the people to come up with a better position.”

Tanzania joined the APRM since 2004 and is scheduled to present its final report in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the end of January, 2013 for consideration before an AU/APRM Forum of Heads of State and Government.

The programme’s Coordinator for Socio-Economic Development, Dr. Cuthbert Ngalepeka told the Commission that in the APRM review consultations were held all over the country including desk research and perception survey.

On his part the APRM Tanzania head of Media and Communications, Hassan Abbasi told the Commission that governance stakeholders’ also advised for improve legal and policy framework for press freedom and right to information.

He urged that for better media related provisions; be it in the Constitution or any other enabling laws to be drafted, the Commission should, among other references expose itself to a model legislation championed by the AU Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Right to Information.

31 out of 54 African countries are currently participating in the APRM.  Kenya and Zambia are also expected to submit their reports for consideration in the Addis Ababa Forum. Tanzania will enact its new constitution by 2014.