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Speaker Makinda speaks on embattled MPs

31st January 2012
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  Says House awaits court ruling on cases of NCCR`s Kafulila and CUF's Hamad
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Anna Makinda

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Anna Makinda said yesterday there were no “conflicting views” between her office and opposition parties (NCCR-Mageuzi and CUF) over the expulsion of their MPs —David Kafulila and Hamad Mohamed Rashid.

She made it clear here yesterday, saying: “There are no conflicting views between my office and these opposition parties. The country’s Constitution is very clear on the subject. There is no contradiction.”

Speaking shortly after a meeting with Members of Parliament, the Speaker explained that the country’s Constitution, Article 71 states categorically that once expelled from the party, the MP automatically loses her/his parliamentary seat.

"However, the same Constitution provides avenues for the MP, who was stripped of the party membership, to appeal against the party decision in court,” said Makinda.

She  noted that as human beings, who have the constitutional rights to access justice, the MPs — David Kafulila and Hamad Rashid, filed their appeals in court, in accordance with the Constitution.

In the context of the separation of powers among three state pillars- Executive, Judiciary and the Parliament, she said, the judiciary was the one which has been vested with mandate to interpret the country’s Constitution.

“Therefore, my office cannot decide on the fate of these MPs; we have to wait for a verdict of the court…its’ only the court which will make final decision on Kafulila and Hamad’s cases,” clarified, insisting that “interpretation of the laws and Constitution is done by the judiciary and no other organ can do it.”

Makinda said that the Parliament respects principles of separation of powers amongst the three state pillars, thus cannot decide anything on the cases before the court completes its assignment and make the verdict public.

“So, we have to be patient…journalists have to be patient…public members have to be patient, pending conclusion of the cases by the court,” noted the Speaker.

Since the court has not ruled on their cases, she said, Kigoma-South and Wawi MPs — David Kafulila and Hamad Rashid would continue attending parliamentary meetings and participate parliamentary activities, like other legislators.

Makinda’s reactions came after Civic United Front and NCCR-Mageuzi top organs expelled Hamad Rashid and David Kafulila, on allegations of fomenting conflicts and creating divisions, and misconducts, within the parties.

Silence on the part of the Speaker and lack of reliable communications between her Office and the respective opposition parties — had triggered speculations and confusions over the powers of the party organs which expelled the Kigoma-South MP and Wawi legislator.

Through the media, both Speaker office and leaders of respective opposition parties had been giving contradicting information about the expulsion of the two MPs and on whether or not, the MPs were still legal representatives of the parliamentary seats.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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