EDITORIAL: Let MPs express their views freely on matters of public importance EDITOR THIS DAY DAR ES SALAAM THE 14th parliamentary session begins in Dodoma today to deal with some important legislative businesses, including bills related to public health and wildlife conservation. Members of Parliament are also expected to deliberate on three other bills on the Tanzania Trade Development Authority, Standard and the Written Laws, according to the Speaker?s Office. Protocols to be ratified by the House include the one on the establishment of the East Africa Commission for Science and Technology, the East Africa Community Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency and the Gender Development of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). But public attention will be on government statement on the ownership of Kiwira Coal mine and report on the implementation of different recommendations put forward by the previous parliamentary meetings, including the Richmond Development Company which won a controversial tender to supply power to the country. Again MPs are expected to dwell at length on the issue of poor management of the Tanzania Railways Limited and the under-performance of the Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS). It will be interesting to hear what the government says about ownership of Kiwira Coal mine following reports that former president Benjamin Mkapa and his senior cabinet minister, Daniel Yona, and some of their immediate family members jointly formed a private company that went on to buy the state-owned mine under dubious circumstances. It will also be interesting to hear how government comes up with an explanation on why there was no public tender or auction of Kiwira Coal mine by the (Presidential) Parastatal Sector Reform Commission (PSRC). We hope the MPs will be free to express their views without fear or favour on such matters of public importance and demand thorough explanation on why, for instance, the privatization of Kiwira Coal mine was supervised by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, whose incumbent minister (Yona) was a shareholder in the company with the Mkapa family. The public must be told why the mine was sold so cheaply for just 700m/- while it was built in the 1980s at a then cost of 4bn/-. Our legislators must also seek government statement on the sale of government houses, which was approved by the third phase government. It is important to note that the government of the day has been forced to spend billions of shillings to rent houses for its top officials. We expect a fiery debate on all these public interest issues for the benefit of all Tanzanians.