A Member of the Constituent Assembly (MCA), Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, yesterday refuted allegations levelled against him in the House that he had a forked tongue.
He proposed that higher learning institutions should consider revoking degrees if their alumni are caught abusing them. “Let’s emulate Germany where an alumnus, who is caught abusing a degree, the relevant university revokes it,” he said.
Dr Mwakyembe said his critics, namely Mr Tundu Lissu and Mr Ismail Jussa Ladhu, had referred to his book out of context in the assembly.
Titled Tanzania’s Eighth Constitutional Amendment and its Implications on Constitutionalism, Democracy and the Union Question, the booklet was published in 1995 when Dr Mwakyembe was pursuing a Master’s degree at Hamburg in Germany. “They should have read the whole sentence and if possible the whole paragraph, chapter or entire book to understand what I really meant,” said Dr Mwakyembe, stressing that one provision was but only part of a constitution.
Dr Mwakyembe was among Tanzanian scholars and politicians whose writings are said to contradict their current stances when arguing on the suitable Union structure.
Members of the Constituent Assembly (MCAs) and the general public are at the crossroads, as they did not know exactly which position the authors were siding with in the debate.
Literature, which have so far sparked a heated debate in the assembly, belong to Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, Prof Issa Shivji, Dr Mwakyembe and Zanzibar First Vice President Seif Sharif Hamad.
Mr Lissu said some authors, who support the three-tier Union structure in their writings, seem to have, to the astonishment of the MCAs and keen followers of the assembly, changed their stands in favour of the two-tier.
The U-turn calls into question the credibility of the solutions the authors propose for challenges facing the country and its people, Mr Lissu said.
He said in his booklet, Dr Mwakyembe suggests the adoption of a three-tier Union government model in a bid to sort out hitches rocking the merger.
He added that Dr Mwakyembe had also supported the three-government structure when airing his views before the dissolved Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) led by Judge Joseph Warioba.
But Dr Mwakyembe argued yesterday that his book emphasises the fact that unions are not uniform, citing India which has 28 partner states and seven provinces and the US with over 50 states.