PARLIAMENTARY MATTERS

The National Assembly had a short session in November 1987 immediately after the Party Conference. Over 500 questions were submitted by members.

The Member for Iringa West asked about the crime situation in the country.

Reply: Theft of public property has fallen in the last three years by 23% There were 914 incidents in 1984 and 697 in 1986. Burglaries had fallen by 8% from 3,512 to 3,323 cases. Some 624 weapons had been impounded in the last three years. Special campaigns had been launched in areas with a high rate of crime like Tarime and Serengeti districts.

A Nominated Member, Mr. Haji Mohamed, asked “Why can’t Britain be expelled from the Commonwealth?”

Reply: Expelling Britain from the Commonwealth was not a solution to the problem in racist South Africa. But Tanzania was opposed to the British stand as expressed by Mrs. Thatcher during the Commonwealth Conference. Commonwealth countries had accepted the idea that they might have differences of opinion on some issues.

The Member for Kongwa asked how soon the godowns at Kizota, one of which had been used for the Party Conference, would be used for the storage of grain.

Reply: Two of the godowns would be filled immediately with 20,000 tons. The third would take a short time to be cleared of conference equipment.

The Member for Mwembe-Makumbi asked about wheat production.

Reply: Wheat growing regions were expected to produce some 75,000 tons of wheat in 1987. 53,000 tons from Arusha region, 14,000 tons from Iringa, 5,600 tons from Ruvuma, about 2,000 tons from Mbeya and 1,200 tons from Rukwa. Wheat production in Mbulu had gone down because of lack of combine harvesters and for no other reason. The Government was assured of smooth running of the Canadian assisted wheat project in Hanang even after the departure of Canadian experts. “There is a time when we have to be self-reliant, relying on our own people” the Deputy Minister of Agriculture said.

A National Member, Ms Lucy Lameck asked for a progress report on the two duty free shops in Dar es Salaam,

Reply: The two shops were run as a partnership between the ‘Biashara Consumer Services’ and the ‘Palestine Martyr Organisation’. They had raised some U.S.Dollars 487,000 since they were opened two years ago. 39 Tanzanians were employed in the shops.

The Member for Muleba asked about honey exports.

Reply: About 10,500 dollars had been made from honey exports and about 854,000 dollars had come from export of beeswax during 1984/85 and 1986/87.

The most heated debate during the session was on one clause in a new Bill which makes the possession of a sum of over Shs 1.0 million in the home a criminal offense. The Minister of Justice said that hoarding money was a crime of economic sabotage. Others said that it was unreasonable to force people to put money into banks when these were often situated at long distances from peoples’ homes. The Bill was eventually passed by 57 votes for to 47 against.

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