Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 7:28 Habari kuu, The african Denies bias Reiterates firm stand on PSO Ready to testify Disturbed by sensationalism BY SYLVESTER JOSEPH IN DODOMA THE Speaker for the National Assembly, Anne Makinda, was yesterday visibly irked by the act of opposition camp Chief Whip, Tundu Lissu, calling a press conference to announce opposition's intention to take her before the Parliamentary Standing Orders Committee. Speaker Makinda expressed her dissatisfaction while speaking to reporters outside the House, who wanted to know her position on the steps taken by opposition, who were not pleased with how she was handling debates. "Parliament is led in accordance with the Parliamentary Standing Orders. Whatever you want to do within the House, you must follow those orders and no one is allowed to defy them. "Basically, it is important to note that issues to do with Parliament should be cleared within the Parliament. It is not right to call a press conference and speak on issues that are not yet discussed in Parliament, as required by our Standing Orders. "If at all they were not satisfied with my judgment, they had to write to the Clerk to The National Assembly, after which I would have been informed and summoned to the Parliamentary Standing Committee responsible for Parliamentary Standing Orders who would listen to and discuss complaints levied against me. "Basically, I am the chairperson of that Committee, but if the case is against me, I will step aside and an independent chairperson with more than 50 per cent of total votes of members, would sit in. "So, as you can see, whatever is being done by our friends (MPs) from the Opposition Camp is not right. Issues that are supposed to be handled by the Parliament, should not be taken to press because by doing so, they will be going against Parliamentary Standing Orders. "And if they are saying that they had tendered their complaint letter to the Clerk, well, I am not aware of that because I have not been informed. However, I am ready to be questioned by the Committee. I will not hesitate to appear before the Committee because it is stated in the Standing Orders," she said. Makinda sharply objected claims by Lissu that she was favouring the Government and suppressing arguments and observations aired by opposition, saying that she has no such habits and if she can do it, it will be like sinning before her God. She insisted that Tanzania Parliament was among the best run Parliaments in East Africa when it comes to transparency. She said: "The claims that I prevented Prime Minister from answering their questions have no grounds because these people have a pending case in court. I cannot allow an issue which is in court to be discussed in Parliament because by so doing, the Parliament will be interfering with judiciary independence," she said. During the instant questions to the Prime Minister session last week, Lissu wanted to know what steps were taken against police who killed innocent citizens in different incidents and at different times at North Mara Gold Mine owned by African Barrick Gold in Nyamongo, Tarime. His counterpart, Ester Matiko, also asked the PM what actions were taken against police who were alleged to have been perpetrating killing and rape against women and underage girls in Tarime. The Speaker intervened in these two occasions, claiming that the PM was not supposed to answer because the cases are already in court and therefore it will be seen as if Parliament was interfering with judicial powers. But according to Lissu, the truth is that no case has been filed in court that involves police killing. "The only case in court is against me and others, but I am not charged for killing. If at all there were cases on the killing, then we could have heard police arraigned before the court. So it was not right for her to prevent us from getting a straight answer from PM on behalf of the government," Lissu told reporters. He mentioned that the Opposition will also question why Makinda has refused to release the findings on a case that involved Pinda and Arusha Urban MP, Godbless Lema.