EDITORIAL: When legislators come to the defence of former president EDITOR THIS DAY DAR ES SALAAM VETERAN Member of Parliament Chrisant Mzindakaya yesterday strongly came out in defence of former President Benjamin Mkapa, who is accused of alleged private business dealings at State House, actions which critics say amounted to abuse of office. The Kwela Member of Parliament on a CCM ticket, debating the 2008/09 budget estimates of the Prime Ministers Office, told the House that it was not proper for the media to report against the former leader whose government recorded tremendous achievements. Mzindakaya went on to demand an explanation from President Jakaya Kikwetes government on why it was remaining mum in the face of frequent media reports against Mkapa. Several MPs and other politicians have lately come out in defence of the former leader arguing that he did a lot of good things for the country. But none of these has made any attempt to clear the former president by dissociating him from the misdeeds which are being reported in the media. Mkapas critics and even the media have all along been positive about the third phase governments tremendous achievements in various sectors. We, too, have no quarrel with that. We expected people like Mzindakaya to tell us that the former president did not, for example, use his office to ensure a company formed by himself along with his senior minister, Daniel Yona, ended up buying the state-run Kiwira coal mine for a song. How could one state that the media were slandering the former president without supporting their arguments with facts to the contrary? Anyone who wants to come to the defence of Mkapa and other politicians over graft allegations must answer basic questions which are being asked about them? We challenge the Kwela MP and all others who have been lined up to Mkapa to come up and state if they believe that the former presidents business dealings at State House and dubious involvement in the privatization of the Kiwira coal mine were beyond suspicion.