Monday, October 13, 2014

Merely two days after a Constituent Assembly (CA) member from the 201- group, Haji Ambar Hamis claimed to be a victim of forgery in the process of voting on the proposed Constitution, the Tanzania Constitution Forum (TCF) yesterday emerged to say that another CA member from Mainland, Zakia Meghji voted as a representative from Zanzibar so as to obtain the required two-thirds quorum from the Isles’ representatives.

Zakhia Meghji

Briefing newsmen in Dar es Salaam yesterday, TCF Chairman, Deus Kibamba alleged that the CA forged some of the votes of CA members from Zanzibar, including the members who never participated in the process.

He said it is a shame for an adult to fool another adult, referring to what happened to Zanzibar’s NCCR –Mageuzi Vice Chairperson, Haji Ambar Hamis who on Friday last week claimed that the Constitutional Assembly secretariat had forged his name to appear on the list of CA members from the Isles who had voted ‘YES’ to the proposed Constitution despite the fact he was not present in the process. 

Kibamba said TCF has examined the whole process of attaining the proposed Constitution and discovered that Meghji who is from Tanzania mainland and once served as minister of Finance and minister of Tourism and Natural resources, had voted as a representative from Zanzibar hence making it possible for the CA to attain the required two-thirds quorum from the Isles.

He emphasized that the foul play was illegal…. “This is unacceptable and unjust to the people who gave out their views expecting to attain a better Constitution and yet some issues were approved unlawfully.” 

He said TCF considers Meghji’s vote forged, which was aimed to ensure the attainment of the two-thirds quorum from Zanzibar representatives.

“We know that Meghji had once lived in Zanzibar but President Jakaya Kikwete had appointed her as a representative from the Mainland,” he said.

He said that alone disqualifies her as a CA representative from Zanzibar thus putting a question mark on the entire proposed Constitution.

When reached for comments, CA Clerk, Yahaya Hamis Hamad told The Guardian over a telephone interview that he was not aware of the claims raised by TCF… “There is nothing I can say for now. I know nothing about it.”

In another development, TCF has challenged President Kikwete to stick to the agreement reached upon between him and political parties through the Tanzania Centre for Democracy (TCD) which is to conduct the referendum after next year’s general elections.


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