Wednesday December 02, 2009 Daily News ORTON KIISHWEKO, 2nd December 2009 @ 03:52 Leaders facing graft charges told to resign VARIOUS speakers at a state of the nation forum in Dar es Salaam, including two former prime ministers, yesterday called for more accountability in national governance, pointing to the "massive decline of leadership virtues". The need for leaders to take political responsibility when faced with corruption allegation emerged, with several high-profile participants suggesting that political leaders who appear in court over graft allegations should leave office until they are cleared. Former Prime Minister Fredrick Sumaye broke his long-time silence by saying that Africa faced the danger of recolonisation if the present decline in leadership values would remain unchecked. Mr Sumaye also faulted the system of governments of national unity, describing them as a mockery of democracy and good governance in the continent. This shows that our political parties are only out to get power so that they get access to powerful offices and resources," he pointed out. Another former prime minister, Mr Joseph Warioba, maintained his stance on the need for leaders to make hard decisions when confronted with accountability woes. He took the opportunity to urge the public to reject anything that is aimed at dividing the nation, citing an example of emerging divisions within the ruling CCM. The Director of Investigations of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Mr Alex Mfungo, suggested that all political leaders who have been implicated in graft cases must be suspended to effect fair trials. What I have observed in our investigations is that values among holders of public offices have declined very much, he told the national forum, which has been organised by the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation to rethink the countrys socio-political direction. Kyela MP Dr Harrison Mwakyembe (CCM) advised that both political leaders and the technocrats should always take responsibility when the ministries, departments or parastatals they head face any scandals. He said any leader who is under investigation or already in court for corruption should step aside as a sign of responsibility. During Mwalimu Nyereres era, it was an honour to resign when leaders faced problems in their dockets. But there has been a shift in thinking as people now think its a reflection of shame to bow out of office to take responsibility, he observed. A retired University of Dar es Salaam don, Prof Mwesiga Baregu, called for a culture of constitutionalism as a political life style for all Tanzanians. He also made reference in his paper to some recommendations of the Nyalali Commission, citing areas that have since fallen short of implementation, including starting a commission that would oversee a review of the constitution. Agriculture, Food Security and Co-operatives Minister Steven Wasira called for constructive debate that goes beyond political party differences. UDP National Chairman John Cheyo (MP) faulted high money influence in politics, calling for its removal through a legislative instrument. NCCR-Mageuzi national Chairman James Mbatia also called for a review of some clauses in the constitution.