Mchinga residents want new constitution to lift immunity of retired presidents


There is a pressing need to have a clause in the new constitution that would give room for the retired president to be arraigned in court to answer charges over his alleged involvement in suspected acts of impropriety while in office.
This was said by residents of Mchinga, in Lindi Municipality during a forum to discuss the new constitutional draft, which was organized by Lindi NGOs network through the funding from the Foundation for Civil Society.

 They explained that if such a clause is included in the new constitution it will compel individuals holding the presidential post to discharge their responsibilities in discipline for fear of being prosecuted after their retirement.
Furthermore, they said under Article 46 (1, 2 and 3) of the 1977 Constitution the president enjoys a range of immunities, including those that relate to prosecutions.
Article 46 (1) states that “During the President’s tenure of office in accordance with this Constitution it shall be prohibited to institute in court any criminal proceedings whatsoever against him.”

CSOs that participated in the forum included Jikwamue, Jitihada, Kubali matokeo, Msihofu, Ufugaji, Lishew, Lindi Islamic Foundation, Tanzania One, Lipembe Group, Ushirikiano, and Ulinzi Group.
However, under issues of land ownership, members of the forum suggested ownership of land to be under citizens and not the President - as against what the current constitution says.

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