Friday, May 6, 2011, 6:02 Tanzania quest for new Constitution in right tracks All issues are discussable Zanzibar plus minus items under Union government Parties should face natural death By Shermarx Ngahemera THE first political parties Registrar and the draftsman of the current (1977) Constitution retired Judge George Liundi has come forward to comment on the ongoing Constitution Review process saying Tanzania is on the right track. In an exclusive interview with this paper Judge Liundi said the heart of the matter of any Constitution is the provision of human rights and the assurance of the peoples power in running their affairs without much interference from the state. The constitution must embody human rights, democracy and all associated with it and also guarantee peoples power in running their affairs as governing bodies at local level or in associations that promote their genuine well being. Article 151 of the Constitution is not enough it should be specific by stating the existence of local governments at their own merit and not at the whims of the responsible Minister, he said. Judge Liundi is not in favour of majimbo policy that has a tendency to entrench ethnicity but wants devolution whereby more power is sent to the people themselves. The majimbo policies were formulated by the United Movement Party (UMP) of the late Chief Abdallah Fundikira and then Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) took over in out and bounds. The Decentralization Law was good but its implementation was bad and created a lot of inconvenience to people leading to waste of resources through ever changing programmes including ESP, NESP reforms that the country lacked capacity to absorb the frequent changes making the government become a big laboratory of experiment on governance. He said; We were successful to build a nation in the first fifty years and to go to majimbo is retrogressive and thus what we want is genuine devolution. Talking on the Union, the retired Judge Liundi said the structure of the union is a mystery to many people since it diverges from the common logic well versed to ordinary people and that is what is applicable in many places. The structure of the union is not easily understood in both its logic and conception. It is difficult to end to two states instead of having three or one state when uniting we ended up having a super state called Tanzania and a Constituent state called Zanzibar with sovereignty vested in Tanzania in a very peculiar arrangement but very effective and accountable to the partner states much to the chagrin of many, he said. Liundi has very innovative solutions to the Union government relations and called for understanding and respect to the rule of law. The best way to solve some of the nagging union problems is to sit down and genuinely discuss them with a sober mind and in principle is to prune some powers of the super-state (Tanzania) and invest them to Zanzibar including oil because oil alone cannot separate us. However, he regards with scorn a federal government for Tanzania because it means regressing, going back to where we came from but this time with bigger operational costs but with less national cohesion which is bad to statehood. It is either the two states or one unitary state. I have heard that Judge Werema, the Attorney General on the untouchable issues he said does not mean exclusion of the items but whatever they talk it should amount to braking the Union but the same could be improvised. What is needed is to level matters and bring in place harmony, he said. Lots of assumptions have been made on the Union with Zanzibar some alleging that the Isles dont want a unitary state with Mainland while it will be very odd at this juncture to think of burying the Union. It is presumptuous because no cards have been put on the table to that effect. If we go by records the stand of Abeid Karume was to have a single government and not two as is the current case. Tanzania should not discard its Constitution and reinvent the wheel but it should acquire the building blocks to fit in the existing Constitution which is live and kicking, said Liundi.