Lawyers and democracy activists meeting under the auspices of the Tanganyika Law Society have called for the resumption of the constitution-making process by restarting or resuming the 2012 draft of the Constitutional Review Commission.
Dr Rugemeleza Nshala, former president of the TLS, said that when it comes to writing the country’s new constitution, political leaders should not be at the helm.
Speaking at a public debate organized here this weekend by the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) under the theme “Restoring the Constitutional Review Process”, lawyers, political party representatives and other activists said that a new mother law is vital for the development of the country.
Dr Elifuraha Laltaika, Professor of Law and Director of Research and Counseling at Tumaini University College, Makumira, said many people are still unaware that the constitution is an integral part of their daily lives and social needs.
Calling the constitution a “sacred” document, he said it determines the future survival of the people, their rights as well as how they eat, dress, travel, speak or are served by their rulers.
“John Mnyika, secretary general of the main opposition party, Chadema, insisted that the draft constitution submitted by the commission under ex-Prime Minister Joseph Warioba in 2014 “already contains the required elements, including the opinions and input from the public on how the country should be governed. .”
“So we have to pick up the process where the Warioba Commission left off because so much has already been done by its team,” he said, implying that the reviews and legislation tabled in parliament after the termination of the examination process, as well as the final draft adopted during this session, are void.
Other speakers on both discussion panels included veteran defenders Harold Sungusia and Awadh Ali Said.
Speakers included leaders of civil society organizations like Deus Kibamba, Executive Director of Tanzania Citizens Information Bureau, Dr. Ananilea Nkya who is the current President of Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF) and Gratian Mukoba, a seasoned teacher; union leader and a casting vote in the 2014 constitutional assembly.
Advocates Beatus Malima and Iddi Mandi contributed to the legal framework for the constitutional review process, with TLS President Dr. Edward Hosea opening and closing the one-day platform on constitutional review.