So the push for a new constitution is getting places. President Kikwete announced the establishment of a Constitutional Review Commission in his end of year speech. His reference to “a new constitution” contradicts the views of his Attorney General and Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, both of whom rejected the idea, saying the current constitution can always be amended on a needs basis.
This all begs a few questions:
1. Where does a new constitution and the time energy and resources that will go into discussion about it, come in your list of priorities for Tanzania?
2. What does the lack of communication between the President and those appointed by him tell us?
3. Importantly, what constitution are we talking about? The most recent Swahili language one from 2000, or the most recent English language one from 2008? They are substantively different documents. Or maybe the 1998 English version available on the government website? Thanks to Mikocheni Report and Udadisi for the first two links.
My submission to the commission: ensure there is one agreed version in Swahili of the new constitution easily available in both hard and soft copies.
Word of advice: if you have an NGO, get working on proposals for community consultations, workshops, simplified versions, civic education. This one could run and run.