The Coalition of the Defenders of the People’s Constitution (Ukawa) has expressed disappointment over remarks made by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) coordinator Ms Hellen Clark who urged the group to return to the Constituent Assembly.
Answering questions from journalists on the last day of her official visit to the country, Ms Clark advised MCAs from Ukawa to go back and engage in debate to end the current stand-off when the sitting resumes in August. She said the CA was the only practical platform to seek a consensus.
Yesterday, Ukawa chairman Freeman Mbowe said the coalition was disappointed by Ms Clark’s statement. He said the UNDP official spoke on the matter without according Ukawa a hearing.
According to Mr Mbowe, if the UNDP boss wanted to break the CA stalemate, she should have made sure that she heard from both sides before issuing any advice.
“It is very unfortunate that she issued such a biased advice after she was briefed by President Kikwete who is an interested party as CCM national chairman. She should have known that this is a very sensitive matter,” said Mr Mbowe.
The Chadema national chairman reiterated that Ukawa will not return to the CA when it resumes in August if the debate in the CA won’t focus on people’s view as presented in the Second Draft Constitution.
“The UNDP boss said we should go back to the CA and engage in constructive debate; there is nothing like constructive debate in the CA, rather the MCAs are trading insults and making discriminatory statements,” said Mr Mbowe.
The same was shared by CUF deputy secretary general (Mainland) Mr Julius Mtatiro. According to Mr Mtatiro, Ukawa will do everything in their power to defend wananchi’s views as presented in the draft of the constitution.
“We don’t care who says what, but we won’t let anyone mess with the people’s views as collected by the Warioba Commission,” said Mr Mtatiro.
He added that diplomats and other high profile people should be very careful when speaking about sensitive matters like the Constitution because their statements might have unintended connotations.
Ukawa members mainly from the opposition parties boycotted the CA to protest the direction the new Constitution writing was taking.
Ukawa took such a drastic action on account of what they allege are bullying tendencies depicted mainly by the majority CCM delegates while debating the Second Draft Constitution.