Iringa Urban legislator Peter Msigwa (Chadema) has stressed on the importance of valuing views given by experts when responding to critical problems facing the country.
The lawmaker was debating budget estimates, which Finance Minister William Mgimwa tabled in Parliament last week.
To bring the idea home, Msigwa quoted scientist Albert Einstein who once said: “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
He explained that ideally, knowledge was expected to govern ignorance forever, but now ignorance seemed to govern knowledge. “There are weak views being given in Parliament, but they seem to overshadow good views given by experts,” Msigwa argued.
The MP said it was amazing to see that people were supporting the budget while the national debt was increasing annually and it has now reached 20trn/-. According to Msigwa, each Tanzanian was supposed to pay 400,000/- if the debt was to be settled to the last cent.
He said according to economic principles, there was no way prayers could help to address problems facing the economy. “Reverends pray for people with different problems like demons, adultery, but not the economy,” he stressed.
A Member of Parliament for Kisesa (CCM) Luhaga Mpina faulted the tabled government budget, saying it contradicted the National Development Plan endorsed by the National Assembly last year.
He said that the Plan directed the government to set aside 35 per cent of the annual budget for development projects. In the tabled estimates, only 2.2trn/- has been allocated for development projects, instead of 2.7tn/-.
Additionally, Mpina said the government has also contradicted the Public Audit Act by tabling budget estimates for the coming financial year before responding to the queries raised in the Controller and Auditor General’s report for the year 2009/10.
He said according to laws of the land, the government was supposed to meet conditions provided in the laws before tabling another budget.
“We, as members of Parliament, were supposed to know how the funds endorsed in the previous budget were spent so that we could be confident in discussing the next budget,” he stressed.
Serengeti MP Kebwe Stephen (CCM) called upon Tanzanians to work hard, saying that some problems were being caused by people themselves due to lack of commitment to work.
Kebwe also advised the government not to increase tax on motorbikes or soft drinks and instead look for new sources in the tourism sector.
He said currently contribution of the tourism sector to the national income was only 17 per cent, while in Zanzibar figures show that its contribution to total annual revenue collection has reached up to 47 per cent.
Commenting on national debt, Namtumbo MP (CCM) Vita Kawawa said that currently the country was spending 5 per cent of the domestic revenue to settle the debt, which falls short of 35 per cent criteria set by donors.