PARLIAMENTARY MATTERS

The National Assembly has had another marathon budget session. A few extracts from the debates as reported in the Daily News:

The Member for Nzega praised Finance Minister Msuya. “I previously regarded him as a difficult man, but he has come up with a budget for the people.”

The Member for Masasi asked about expansion plans for prisons. Reply: No prisons had been expanded but Tanzania now had 106 prisons including 45 built since Independence.

The Member for Dodoma Urban advised the Government to trade in some of the assets nationalised after the Arusha Declaration to beef up state coffers. There were about 10,000 nationalised buildings in Dar es Salaam alone which could fetch up to Shs 100 billion. “I know this is rather sensitive but I must say it” he is quoted as having said.

A National Member-wanted to know the number of foreign media institutions operating in the country.
Reply: Tass, Novosti Press Agency, Asia and Africa Today, Moscow Radio and Television, Xinhua (China) News Agency and the Peoples Daily, Korean Central News Agency, Kuwaiti News Agency, United Press International Television News, Inter-Press Services (Italy).

The Member for Nzega asked if the Government had any plans to expand the Dodoma Wine Company so that it could consume all grapes to be produced in Dodoma, Iringa, Tabora and Shinyanga regions. Reply: Production at Dodoma is expected to improve tremendously (up to 980 cartons of wine a day) because the Government has assisted the company to buy new machinery, bottles and corks.

The Member for Mwera asked about registration of Ujamaa villages. Reply: There is no village in the country which has been registered as an Ujamaa village. Under the Local Government Act once it is established that most of the social and economic activities of a Village are run along socialist lines the Party Regional Executive may recommend a village to be accorded Ujamaa status. The Deputy Minister for Local Government said that his Ministry had never received any recommendation to that effect since the Arusha Declaration was proclaimed in 1967.

The Member for Meatu and many other members made a strong plea for the Government to announce concrete plans to construct the Dodoma – Mwanza road to reduce reliance on the now erratic Central Railway Line.

The Member for Makete said that Prime Minister and First Vice-President Warioba should explain audit queries raised by the Controller and Auditor General against the 1986/87 accounts of his Office. He mentioned that the Office had spent Shs 54.7 million which was not budgeted, Shs 44.1 million imprest and advances not accounted for and Shs 17.4 million in unvouched expenditure.

At this point Mr. Warioba intervened, saying that the MP should have raised these questions during the debate on the estimates or he should reserve them until the Auditor General’s Report comes up for debate. The Deputy Speaker agreed with the Prime Minister and proceeded to the next item in the estimates.

The Member for Mbeya Rural said that crop marketing boards were agents of exploitation and should be disbanded. He also said that co-operative unions, instead of being agents of change, were increasingly becoming tribal domains. I don’t think it is possible for a person from Mbeya to become the General Manager of the Nyanza CD-operative Union he said.

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