CSOs and the Parliament at Logger-Heads
Gender, Human Rights and Democratic Governance activists under the FEMACT Coalition, recently challenged the Parliament saying that, “Parliament has failed to play its role of providing oversight to the government by accepting to close the debate on the Richmond, graft case and the Kiwira case. The CSOs think the case was prematurely closed because of the implication of the former's President in the acquisition of Kiwira mines. In fact it is said that former President Benjamin Mkapa wrongfully acquired a Core Mining Company. To express their disapproval of the Parliament’s move to drop the debate, FEMACT issued a statement which called upon the civil society to join them in a mass rally to condemn the Parliament for this action.
The FEMACT statement points to the fact that Parliament is the most supreme people’s representative house and therefore, suppressing of freedom of expression at that level is very detrimental to the national democratic process.
This statement was written in the spirit and understanding that not even the Parliament is above the law and therefore can not be allowed to suffocate public debate on matters relating to good-governance and accountability.
The statement also decried the way the Parliament handled the TICT and TRL issues, the pollution of the environment in the area surrounding North Mara and the breach of Human Rights in the Loliondo area mid-last year, adding that MPs should remember that they are mare representatives of the people and they will soon be seeking the peoples votes..
The statement dismissed as mare opportunists some MPs who had earlier purported to be champions of democracy, for not standing their guns to the end.
The statement also had a message for unethical CSOs which are pointing fingers to the government when their houses are not in order, stressing that such behavior will not be tolerated.
Further the statement commented on the issue of the once faithful CSO Activist who have been elected to Parliament and have since been compromised, saying that everyone has an inherent character which cannot be controlled by the sector, therefore this cannot be blamed on the NGO sector.