Mbatia hails Ndugai on Bunge, opposition reconciliation bid

THE National Chairman of the National Convention for Construction and Reform (NCCR-Mageuzi), Mr James Mbatia, yesterday commended the National Assembly Speaker, Mr Job Ndugai, for his resolve to hold mediation talks with the opposition regarding their walk-out from the House during the past budgetary parliament session in Dodoma. Mr Mbatia was speaking during an interview with seasoned broadcaster Tido Mhando on Azam TV.

He said opposition leaders were ready to engage in talks with House officials because they believe it is the best way to iron out their differences and reach a consensus. “What I can say is that Mr Ndugai’s statement is encouraging. He has given us hope that there is a room for mediation.

This is a good move,” he remarked. Last week, Mr Ndugai said he would seek mediation between leaders from both the Opposition Camp and House officials to iron out their differences.

The entire 2016/17 parliamentary budget session was characterised by wrangles between the opposition MPs under their ‘UKAWA’ coalition and House officials, including the Deputy Speaker, Dr Tulia Ackson, who they accused of favouring the government and MPs from the ruling party.

The opposition MPs kept on boycotting all sessions that were officiated Dr Tulia. There were also cases of them being sent out of the House over charges of indiscipline.

In his response to the opposition accusation, Mr Ndugai refuted the accusation that the parliament was being run by the State House and the ruling CCM. He said the parliament is an independent body, which does not take orders from anybody or anywhere.

Yesterday, Mr Mbatia, who doubles as Vunjo MP (NCCR-Mageuzi) and Co-UKAWA Chairman, said that the opposition camp has been stressing for the mediation talks -- and that Mr Ndugai’s intention could help to change the situation. “We have been eying for that opportunity to come.

We had already told our fellows on the other side that UKAWA believes in mediation as the best way of solving problems, I therefore commend and support Mr Ndugai’s move to bring us on the round table,” noted Mr Mbatia.

Commenting on the reasons behind the debating chamber walk-outs, Mr Mbatia said it was one way of sending a message and expressing their anger to the House officials and the public at large. “We wanted to express our disappointment and anger against the parliament’s leadership system,” the opposition leader explained.

On the government’s decision to move its business to the designated capital Dodoma, Mr Mbatia said the decision should involve other stakeholders including discussing it in the House.

On the planned September 1, demonstration, Mr Mbatia said there are already efforts by religious leaders to bring the opposition leaders and other government officials on the round table to discuss the matter.

“We have been invited on August 24 by the religious leaders to discuss various matters regarding the political situation in the country and our intention to conduct countrywide demonstration on September 1.

I believe the talks will bring positive results,” he said. Last week, the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRGG) asked the opposition to refrain from its plan to hold nationwide demonstrations to provide an opportunity for the court to do its job without pressure.

CHRGG Chairman Mr Bahame Nyanduga made the call in a press conference in Dar es Salaam shortly after meeting with CHADEMA leaders, the Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi, and Executive Director of Tanzania Centre of Democracy (TCD), Mr Daniel Loya.

He expressed fear that violence may erupt if the opposition would insist on continuing with their plan to conduct a countrywide demonstration on September 1.

Mbatia hails Ndugai on Bunge, opposition reconciliation bid Mbatia hails Ndugai on Bunge, opposition reconciliation bid Reviewed by on 11:03:00 PM Rating: 5

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