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Graft claims: Bunge credibility in danger

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    #1
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    [TD="class: contentheading, width: 100%"]Graft claims: Bunge credibility in danger [/TD]
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    [TD="class: createdate"] Sunday, 05 August 2012 01:44 [/TD]
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    The Citizen Reporter
    Dar es Salaam


    Corruption allegations, absenteeism and flagrant disregard for rules governing parliamentary procedures have eroded the National Assembly’s credibility to an extent that warrants the House’s dissolution, according to some observers.

    This view comes in the wake of revelations that many MPs have been receiving bribes from lobby groups and companies in return for business or policy favours.

    However, Deputy Speaker Job Ndugai dismissed calls for Parliament’s dissolution, saying recent tumultuous events in the House were a sign of growing transparency (Mhhhh!) Political analysts and observers who spoke to The Citizen on Sunday said developments in Parliament were gradually eroding Tanzanians’ trust in the country’s main oversight body.


    Those who called for its dissolution include the Executive Director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), Dr Helen Kijo-Bisimba, who said Parliament’s dignity had been greatly compromised.

    “It is a big shame that an entity that is supposed to safeguard the interests of ordinary Tanzanians has turned against the very people it is meant to help. Do we have anything to trust as far as checking the government’s excesses is concerned?” she asked.

    Dr Kijo-Bisimba said the bribery allegations were hardly surprising because many MPs bribed their way to Parliament, adding that the claims were a reflection of the failure of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), political parties and anti-corruption watchdogs.

    She said LHRC was pushing for inclusion in the new constitution of a provision that would allow voters to reject MPs who lose credibility.
    Asked how sure she was that clean MPs would be voted in after Parliament’s dissolution, Dr Kijo-Bisimba said: “I don’t believe we Tanzanians cannot choose credible parliamentarians.”

    However, Deputy Speaker Job Ndugai said dissolving the House was counterproductive, adding that the enormous cost of electing a new parliament must be taken into consideration.

    “The House has more than 350 members and corruption allegations have been levelled against a few MPs. Parliament should be praised for high levels of transparency. This is why these allegations were raised in the first place. Had we decided to protect those being accused, who would have known the allegations?” he asked.

    Mr Ndugai said MPs’ conduct was a reflection of moral decadence in society.

    “We in Dodoma just receive MPs from the constituencies. These people are employed by voters. We cannot be part of the problem if the people bring to us crooked individuals as their representatives.” (mhhh! Non sense!!!)

    Dr Cosmas Kamugisha of the University of Dar es Salaam’s Institute of Development Studies said what was happening in Parliament was a sign of greater democracy and transparency.

    “These things did not start today. They have been there for a long time but were not being exposed due to lack of transparency and good governance,” he said. Dr Kamugisha said there was a need to take an institutional rather than individual approach in addressing corruption among MPs.

    “Let’s not look at individual MPs. We will fail to tackle the sourc'e of the problem. The issue is not corruption, but the source of corruption and institutions charged with taming the vice. If we dissolve the House, how sure are we that the next MPs will be clean?” he asked.

    Two weeks ago Parliament failed to approve Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives’ 2012/13 budget for lack of quorum. The situation prompted the Speaker, Ms Anne Makinda, to voice her concern about absenteeism and warned that MPs would be required to seek permission before travelling outside Dodoma.

    The arraignment of Bahi MP Omar Badwel on charges of soliciting and receiving a Sh1million bribe from a district executive officer so that the district council’s report could be approved is among recent developments that have tarnished Parliament’s image.

    Things came to a head when Energy and Minerals minister Sospeter Muhongo told the House that some MPs had been bribed to frustrate efforts to unearth grand corruption in Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco). This led to the dissolution of the Energy and Minerals Committee and appointment of a five-member committee to investigate the allegations.

    Civic United Front (CUF) chairman Ibrahim Lipumba said the allegations did not amount to a national crisis to warrant Parliament’s dissolution, but added the claims showed that MPs were not taking their jobs seriously.

    “Many are business-minded and do not put the interests of their voters first,” he said. He proposed the formation of an independent committee led by a judge to investigate the allegations instead of entrusting MPs with the task.


    In June, last year, Kigoma South MP David Kafulila named three MPs in the Local Authority Accounts Committee, whom he claimed were receiving bribes, but he was cut short and told to wait for guidance on the matter. No action was taken. A year later, Mr Badwel was arraigned on corruption charges.

    “Inaction on the part of the Speaker caused these things to continue. It is very unfortunate that one of the MPs I named was arrested for corruption,” Mr Kafulila said.
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  2. Facilitator

    Facilitator JF-Expert Member

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    Aug 5, 2012
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    Nice article. A very good eye opener.
     
  3. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    True....and it is very sad that nothing will be done to restore its credibility.
     
  4. Facilitator

    Facilitator JF-Expert Member

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    With the kind of politicians that we have, this is an uphill task. I like Kenyan politics, their parliament is like a sacred altar. We really have a long ground to cover.
     
  5. Ston Merchant

    Ston Merchant JF-Expert Member

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    Aug 6, 2012
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    bravo....... the question z how cn we get this credible parliament..?
     
  6. Mzalendo JR

    Mzalendo JR JF-Expert Member

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    Aug 6, 2012
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    Active members ar bizy charting in VIBER and What app......
     
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