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Suluhu warns politicians misusing ‘ignorant’ Tanzanians to vouch for Constitutional change

By Winnie Mabel September 12th, 2023 2 min read

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu told off her country’s politicians for misusing ignorant citizens to demand for a change of the Tanzanian Constitution. Speaking while at State House, she accused politicians of turning citizens into parrots who echoed whatever they were told and did whatever they were told to do without question.

“Politicians, we think we have the right to mobilize and expect people to accept whatever we tell them and expect them to say the same. We are turning people into parrots. We want a new Constitution, everyone repeats ‘Yes, we want a new Constitution’ but go and ask them ‘Which Article or paragraph in the Constitution irritates you’- they don’t know. They don’t know what they want to be changed but they simply want the Constitution to be changed. ‘What new things do you want the Constitution to bring?’ and they say development,” began President Suluhu.

She called on her countrymen to respect the Constitution and make sure they know what is entailed inside just as they do with religious books.

“You see people walking around with these documents, the Bible but their actions are different from what is prescribed within the documents. The Constitution is not simply a book. It is morality and ethical standards. We all agreed as Tanzanians to follow what is prescribed within it, everyone would read it, understand, and believe in it- that our ethics will be within certain standards and we put them in a book for reference. We have a big job ahead of us to ensure Tanzanians know what is within the Constitution and what it physically looks like,” added President Suluhu.

She warned that people in rural areas are bound to confuse the Constitution book for the Chama Cha Mapinduzi booklets because they don’t know what it looks like or what is written inside.

“Let us not confuse people. The Constitution belongs to Tanzanians. What we want from you are opinions and inputs on how the Constitution should be. Politicians should bring their opinions from their parties and associations to begin the process of Constitution review,” concluded President Suluhu.

Tanzania is currently gripped with debate over Constitution review but they will have to wait until 2027 to realize a new Constitution. According to the East African, the government said there was a need for at least three years to conduct civic education and thus, it will not be held this year. However, detractors claimed the government was simply applying delay tactics to assist the ruling party, CCM, to win the 2027 general election.

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