PARLIAMENTARY MATTERS

There was a brief session of Parliament in April 1990 to deal, amongst other things, with the new Investment Code.

Mr Benjamin Mkapa, Foreign Minister announced that his 1989 foreign development projects had been completed. The High Commissioner’s House in London had been repaired (Shs 2 million), the Embassy building in Beijing had been purchased (Shs 66 million), and a house had been built for the Ambassador in Rome (Shs 40 million). Only half of the OAU’s members had contributed to the organisation’s regular budget for the period between 1975 and 1988. Tanzania had paid its dues.

The Deputy Minister for Home Affairs announced that the government planned to issue identity cards to all residents in Tanzania. Funds for the manufacture of the cards were now being sought.

The Deputy Minister for Defence and National Service revealed 1n answer to question that there were at present 67 Second World War veterans receiving pensions from Britain. The payments ranged from Shs 400 to Shs 4,400 per month depending on health status and disability. In 1962 some 5,000 soldiers had been receiving Shs 50 a year from Germany for service in the First World War but it was now difficult to obtain accurate records to support additional claims for compensation for war service.

A number of MP’s called for a total review of the Cooperative Law. “Peasants have no say over who to cooperate with” said the Member for Musoma Rural. Other members claimed that the government did not have a consistent policy on cooperatives and that it was directly interfering in the running of cooperative unions. The government was proposing the setting up of a new Apex organisation for the cooperative movement. The government also presented a Bill to Parliament to amend several provisions of laws that established crop marketing boards for cotton, coffee, tobacco and cashew nuts. The Boards will be turned into agents of cooperative unions.

The government also introduced an amendment to the Rent Restriction Act of 1984 to remove provisions that required landlords in commercial premises to look for alternative accommodation for tenants where the landlord wished to repossess his property for his own use.

In the March session of the Zanzibar House of Representatives the Member for Magomeni, Colonel Mussa Ameir, complained about the way in which the Isles’ legislature was represented at meetings of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association saying that, in most cases, the invitations were sent to the Union Parliament which was then at liberty to include or exclude Zanzibar representatives. “We demand direct invitation because the two legislatures have equal status’ he said.

Members of the House greeted with great joy a Bill which outlined their immunities, powers and privileges. The Bill allows for freedom of speech and debate in the House. This freedom would not be questioned in any court of law. No civil or criminal proceedings would be taken against any member for words spoken or written and Members would not be arrested for any civil debt except for a debt, the contraction of which, represented a criminal offence – Daily News

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