Tanzania ruling party MP wants independent candidates

By Special Reporter – A visiting panel of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), from the African Union (AU) has been told to advice the Tanzanian government to expedite the constitutional review process in order to provide the country a new focused strategic direction including private candidates.

The views were aired in Mtwara on Saturday during stakeholders’ consultations with the visiting APRM panel of experts from 20 African countries which is in Tanzania since 2nd March, 2012 through 23rd March, 2012

The ruling party, CCM, Special Seats MP, Anastazia Wambura joined various governance stakeholders to tell the panel that the current constitution should be reviewed to cater for various developments including amending articles which sanctions people from contesting various political office from political parties.

“We have seen recently how some Members of Parliament chosen by their respective voters have been threatened to lose their seats because they were expelled from their political parties. Tanzanians are demanding accountability and development. The new constitution should abolish this by allowing independent candidates,” said MP Wambura.

The acting team leader for the country review mission that will visit Mtwara, Mbeya and Dodoma regions, Prof. Mohammed Muhidin, a Kenyan political scientist and a close ally of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, said the team is in Tanzania to discuss with and engage various stakeholders in a bid not to rank the country but complement the available government institutions towards improving good governance.

Earlier on, the team paid a courtesy visit to the Mtwara Regional Commissioner; Colonel (retired) Joseph Simbakalia who praised the APRM process as a replica of Mwalimu Nyerere’s policy of self critic.

APRM is a mechanism of the African Union formed in 2002 with the mandate of assessing governance among member states through involving the people to air their voices.

Tanzania joined the mechanism in 2004 and the first country report on governance was completed in 2009 and updated in 2011 containing the voices on the people in areas of democracy, economic management,corporate governance and socio-economic affairs.

Tanzania being among 32 out of 54 African countries which have acceded to the mechanism looks forward to attain more accelerated political stability, high economic growth and strengthened good governance, conducive to attract more investment, upon successfully implementing the program whose reports are issued every after four years.