Although some opposition MPs express dissatisfaction over the way Speaker Anne Makinda runs the Parliament, interviewed legislators say it is too early to judge the new presiding officer.
This is only Makinda’s second occasion to preside over a meeting of the 10th Parliament since her last November election to that position, which Samuel Sitta, currently the Minister for East African Cooperation, held in the 9th Parliament.
Rev. Peter Msigwa (Chadema- Iringa Urban) said: “One could judge the speaker wrongly…it may well be due to some MPs’ ignorance of Parliamentary Rules,” citing the fact that more than 70 per cent of them are new and are still learning the rules governing House business.
He said it would be unfair to judge her so soon because she is also new to the position. “Let’s us give Speaker Makinda time while we also study Parliament Rules. The Parliamentary budget meeting starting in June may give us a picture of what kind of speaker we have,” he said.
David Kafulila (NCCR- Mageuzi-Kigoma South) said it was the speaker’s duty to positively deal with the challenges occurring in the debating chamber but she should “cut bureaucracy, ” expressing concern over what he described as Makinda’s strictness” with regard to Parliamentary Rules.
He observed that not every issue should be decided by the Parliamentary Standing Orders, claiming that there are national issues that demand quick attention and answers.
On the same issue, Kigoma North MP Zuberi Kabwe Zitto simply replied: “It is too early to judge her. She has five years. Remember Speaker Sitta was hated much between 2006 and 2007 but became very popular after the Richmond scandal…I think she is doing well, despite the challenges.”
As for the Vunjo MP Augustine Mrema, Speaker Makinda has displayed performance that brings hope, especially praising her after uniting all the opposition parties in the Parliament.
“There are former speakers, whoI know, committed serious mistakes …some violated human rights and others did not follow the rule of law. Makinda could emerge as the best speaker this country has ever had.
Besides Sitta, other Speakers were the late Chief Adam Sapi Mkwawa, the late Chief Erasto Mang’enya and Pius Msekwa since independence in 1961.
When Makinda took over from Sitta in November, there were claims that she was “placed” in that position by a clique of corrupt officials disgraced during the 9th Parliament term. However, the Speaker said the claims were baseless.