The controversial move to swear in MPs and senators on Monday before convening parliament on Tuesday has left the three political parties in the talks, Zanu PF and the two MDC factions, in disarray. The latest shift in events threatens to sabotage the negotiations that have been rambling on since July.
MPs will be sworn in by the Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma at 10am on Monday. This will be followed by the election of Speaker and deputy Speaker of parliament.
Negotiating parties have been frantically lobbying for the positions. Zanu PF and the MDC faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai have been locked in a bitter struggle for the posts, leaving Arthur Mutambara’s smaller MDC group well placed to tilt the scales, with a good chance of producing a compromise candidate.
None of the three parties has a majority in parliament. Zanu PF won 99 seats, Tsvangirai’s MDC 100 and the Mutambara faction 10 seats in the House of Assembly. To control parliament a party needs 106 seats.
After the MPs, senators will be sworn in at 2:30pm and subsequently there would be an election of president and deputy president of the senate.
Zanu PF is expected to easily win the posts if President Robert Mugabe chooses the five appointed senators and 10 provincial governors who are due to be sworn in on Monday as well.
Appointed senators and the governors, bolstered by 18 chiefs, would give Zanu PF an unassailable 63 senators in the 93-member Upper House. Tsvangirai’s party has 24 and the Mutambara faction six senators.
The issue of cabinet — which Mugabe might move to appoint if he secures a deal with some opposition MPs — appointment of senators, governors and the Speaker of parliament, are part of the talks. The process which might follow next week’s events could disrupt the already stalled negotiations.
Mugabe will officially open parliament on Tuesday. Sources said that Tsvangirai’s MPs are likely to boycott the opening session after they are sworn in on Monday.
Mugabe is unable to form a functioning government on his own after his party lost control of parliament in the March elections. This has created an unprecedented dilemma for him since he came to power in 1980 as he has to rely on the MDC to extend his rule, particularly after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on July 21 to guide the talks.
The MoU prohibits such measures as the convening of parliament without mutual consent by the negotiating parties. Mugabe’s decision to assemble parliament has sparked off an uproar with Tsvangirai’s party which has warned this might scuttle the talks.
Sadc leaders at their summit last weekend in South Africa sanctioned the assembling of parliament "to give effect to the will of the people as expressed in the parliamentary elections held on 29 March 2008".
It is said that Mugabe lobbied Sadc for approval to avoid violating the MoU and find a convenient cover for his actions. Mugabe also came out of the Sadc summit with a façade of legitimacy after his counterparts tacitly acknowledged him.
Tsvangirai’s secretary-general Tendai Biti said this week the assembling of parliament would ruin the talks.
"Any decision to convene parliament will be a clear repudiation of the Memorandum of Understanding, and an indication beyond reasonable doubt of Zanu PF’s unwillingness to continue to be part of the talks. In short convening parliament decapitates the dialogue,” Biti said.
“Article 9 of the MoU signed on 21 July 2008 makes it clear that no party, during the subsistence of the dialogue, shall take any decision or measure that has a bearing on the dialogue, save by consensus. Such a decision or measure includes, but is not restricted to, the convening of parliament or formation of a new government. In the present case, the MDC has not consented to the convening of parliament.”
Tsvangirai initially said that “let parliament be reconvened” — before he tried yesterday to shift his position to align himself with his secretary-general while in Kenya by stating that the convening of parliament would undermine the talks.
Tsvangirai told a news conference in Nairobi Mugabe’s intention to open parliament next Tuesday was a “repudiation” of the MoU.
“A violation of the MoU will have to be dealt with by the mediator,” he said. South African President Thabo Mbeki is the mediator.
“If President Mugabe goes ahead to convene parliament, appoint a new cabinet, it means he is proceeding to violate the conditions of the MoU which means he may have abandoned the basis for the talks but we don’t know what his intentions are.” Sources said Mugabe is manoeuvring in a bid to outflank the opposition by luring some of their MPs through promises of government positions and other inducements to secure a parliamentary majority and form a new cabinet.
It is said Mutambara, who would be deputy prime minister if the talks succeed, could be amenable to a deal with Mugabe although he has denied it.
A number of Tsvangirai’s MPs have also been targeted by Zanu PF and this prompted the party last week to go public about it in an effort to keep Mugabe at bay.
The convening of parliament would come amid growing criticism that the current government — run by an old cabinet dissolved on March 27 — may not only be illegitimate, but also unconstitutional.
A group of lawyers monitoring parliamentary affairs said government was running without parliament for six months and this was unlawful.
“The Constitution stipulates that the country should not be governed without a parliament for more than 180 days (Section 62). We are well past this (the 180 days expired in mid-July),” the lawyers said.
They also said the clause in the MoU which says parliament should not be convened before the negotiations are concluded “is merely a contract between the political parties, which cannot contradict the supreme law of the land”.
Mugabe dissolved parliament on January 24 ahead of March elections.
However, constitutional lawyer Lovemore Madhuku said the 180 days apply to the period between two sessions of the same parliament, not different ones as is the case now.
Madhuku said the real issue presently was that Mugabe did not follow the constitution when he took the oath of office on June 29, while parliament was not sworn in.
By Dumisani Muleya
"Kuhusu EPA...,Agosti 18 nilipokea ripoti kutoka katika timu niliyounda,nimeipitia,lakini kuna mambo nimeagiza,moja ni kwamba wote waliopata fedha hizo wawe wamelipa ifikapo Oktoba 31,vinginevyo watakiona cha moto ni mahakamani tu,"alionya na kuongeza.
"Msione ma-gentle men wanapita mitaani wamefunga tai,tayari wengine tumewafilisi,tayari magari,hati za kusafiria na hata nyumba zao zimekamatwa,matajiri wa EPA wana hali mbaya kweli".
Rais Jakaya Kikwete amesena ni shs bilion 53 tu ndo zimerudishwa mpaka sasa.Watuhumiwa wa fedha hizo pamoja na kurudisha pesa wameporwa hati zao za kusafiria na kuwa watataifishiwa mali zao zote pamoja na magari yao ya kifahari waliokuwa wakitanulia nayo mitaani.
*Rais Kikwete amekiri kwamba pesa za EPA hazikuwa za serikali na kuwa ni za wafanyabiashara wa nje na kuwa baada ya kurudishwa zitaelekezwa kwenye kilimo lengo likiwa kuanzisha benki ya kilimo kwa mabenki wanasema kuwa kilimo hakikopesheki.
*Rais Jakaya Kikwete amezungumza mengi pamoja na kutoa ujumbe mzito katika masuala muhimu yanayohusu taifa kwa sasa.masuala hayo ni ya siasa,uchumi na jamii katika hili akagusia soka na haja ya TFF kuanza kujiandaa kuwa na mwalimu wao mwenyewe.
Rais Pia amezungumzia kazi zilizofanyika na kutoa mwelekeo wa baadaye na kusisitiza kuwa tunajenga nyumba tusigombee fito.
Rais Kikwete alisema haelewi mantiki ya mjadala huo kuendelea ukiwahusisha hata viongozi wa serikali kwani haamini kama kweli wanaouendeleza hawafahamu jambo hilo."Hivi kweli Watanzania tangu miaka 44 ya Muungano bado tunashindwa kuelewa kwamba zilizokuwa nchi mbili huru,Zanzibar na Tanganyika, ziliungana na kuunda nchi moja ya Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania?"alihoji Rais Kikwete aliyeonekana kukunja uso.
Alisema hadhi ya Zanzibar kuitwa nchi,ilikoma baada ya muungano kati yake na Tanganyika na kuunda nchi mpya ya Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania ambayo ndio inayowatambulisha Watanganyika na Wazanzibari mbele ya mataifa mengine.
.SPIKA SITTA AMTAHADHARISHA RAIS KIKWETE.
Baada ya Rais jakaya Kikwete kumaliza kutoka hotuba yake leo bungeni mjini Dodoma
Spika wa bunge la jamhuri la Muuungano wa Tanzania Mh Samwel Sitta alimemkumbusha Rais Kikwete kwamba kuwa ni makosa kusimamia haki za binadamu kwa wahujumu uchumi.
Mheshimiwa Spika Samwel Sitta alimtaka Rais Kikwete kuongeza ukali kidogo katika masuala ya rushwa na ufisadi na kwamba Bunge litasaidia kuiweka nchi sawa.
"Hongera sana mheshimiwa Rais,umetoa hotuba nzuri,tumesikia, kuna mambo ya msingi, kuna hili la utawala bora,ukiongeza ukali kidogo basi sisi wabunge tutakusaidia.Lakini,wakati mwingine haya mambo ya kuweka visingizio vya haki za binadamu kwa wahujumu uchumi, yanakwamisha maendeleo ya nchi,"alisema Sitta huku Rais akitabasamu.
Spika Sitta alifafanua kwamba, wakati mwingine kushindwa kushughulikia wahujumu uchumi kwa kisingizio cha haki za binadamu hurudisha nyuma maendeleo ya nchi.
*Wadau muda mchache ujao tutawaletea hotuba yote ya Rais Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete aliyohutubia leo mjini Dodoma.
Dr.Ali Mohammed Shein na wapili kulia ni Spika wa Bunge Samwel Sitta.
Rais Jakaya Kikwete leo ametoa hotuba ndefu kwa masaa kama matatu hivi iliyogusa maeneo nyeti mbalimbali,hapo chini ni sehemu tu ya hotuba hiyo..
Rais Jakaya Kikwete amesema mengi kuhusu utawala bora,nidhamu na maisha lakini muungano tu ndicho ambacho nakiona amekiongelea kwa kutumia diplomasia sana na kusema watu wasikoroge mambo zaidi waache taasisi husika ziangalie kama kweli kuna kero katika muungano. Jambo jingine nishani za Comoro kwa askari na washiriki wengine.
Jambo jingine anataka uhuru wa sasa utumike unavyostahili,tuzoee kitu cha kusema watu na kuandamana lakini si kwa kuvuruga nchi.Uchochezi na habari za kuleta machafuko hazikubaliki. Ametoa fursa ya utamaduni wa kutoa maoni tusiutumie vibaya uhuru huo.Wananchi wanatakiwa kutumia vyema haki na fursa hiyo,Haki isiyokuwa na wajibu ni upuuzi mtupu.
Makamu wa Rais Dk. Ali Mohamed Shein(Kushoto),akizungumza na Makamu wa Rais wa Kenya Kalonzo Musyoka,walipokutana kwenye ukumbi wa mkutano wa ushirikiano wa kibiasha kati ya Uturuki na Afrika unaoendelea katika ukumbi wa Hoteli ya Kempinski mjini Istanbuli Uturuki Leo.Katikati ni Waziri wa Usafiri wa Baharini wa Kenya Ahmed Rashid.Picha na Amour Nassor
We will also soon be hosting information sessions for our Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship Program in September. We invite interested applicants to check the website http://tanzania.usembassy.gov/flta.html in the next couple of weeks for more information, and details on how to attend the information sessions, check eligibility and apply online. The program is open to Tanzanian English teachers resident in Tanzania who have a Bachelor's degree, are between 21-29 years old, and whose native language is Kiswahili. Successful candid dates spend an academic year taking classes to improve their English and language teaching methodology, while teaching Kiswahili at post-secondary institutions in the United States . Complete applications are due in October.
For information on any other programs, please visit our website or contact us by email.
With best wishes,
Educational Exchange Programs
Office of Public Affairs, American Embassy
686 Old Bagamoyo Rd., Msasani
Box 9123, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Voice: +255 22 2668001
Fax: +255 22 2668251
Fellowship Programs: http://tanzania.usembassy.gov/educational_exchange.html