Tanzania’s Rubber Stamp Parliament: The Speaker a Crook at Best

by Eli Mshomi
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The power structure of Tanzania is faulty in its entirety, and everyone having power in their hands is trying to exploit it in one way or another.

Just like President Samia Suluhu, her right-hand man Job Ndugai, the speaker of Tanzania’s Parliament, is one such power abuser who took every opportunity to promote the dictatorial ambitions of John Magufuli and his successor Samia Suluhu.

From dismissing Tundu Lissu from the Parliament illegally to bringing Cecil Mwambe into the legislature unlawfully, the speaker is a puppet of the executive branch and only acts to be in the good graces of the president.

 

19 MPs who were saved from expulsion by Job Ndugai are the classic example of what hypocrisy looks like. Despite the fact that Chadema expelled them, Ndugai saved them for his so-called multiparty vision.

19 MPs who were saved from expulsion by Job Ndugai are the classic example of what hypocrisy looks like. Despite the fact that Chadema expelled them, Ndugai saved them for his so-called multiparty vision. Photo Credit: The Citizen

Job Ndugai Saving 19 Unconstitutional MPs from Expulsion: Hypocrisy at his Best

Job Ndugai went the extra mile in denouncing the constitution of the country when he saved the parliamentary membership of 19 expelled special seat MPs from the Chadema party. The main opposition party removed 19 women MPs for breaching the constitution and nominating themselves for the special seats.

However, those breaching the constitution are near to Ndugai’s heart, as he always gives them favorable treatment. Had they been the MPs from the ruling party, their seats were going to be declared vacant for by-elections.

Speaking in favor of the 19 expelled MPs, Ndugai categorically said that he would continue considering them as members of the Parliament. It was a blatant attempt by the speaker to showcase Tanzania’s Parliament as the custodian of the multiparty democracy. He wanted to show the world that the country values different political ideologies.

If it had been the case, the ruling CCM should not have robbed the elections in the first place to be able to claim giving respect to a multiparty democracy.

The event also exposed the hypocrisy of Ndugai, who said that had these 19 MPs resigned, their candidacy would have been ceased. However, when Cecil Mwambe resigned, he brought him back, too, forgetting the constitution.

 

Job Ndugai beat his political opponent Dr. Joseph Chilongani for photographing him. He felt unconscious after being attacked by Ndugai.

Job Ndugai beat his political opponent Dr. Joseph Chilongani for photographing him. He felt unconscious after being attacked by Ndugai.

Violence Begins Where Logic Ends: Job Ndugai Physically Assaulting his Political Rivals

Job Ndugai’s authoritative behavior did not come out of the blue. Even before coming into the most powerful position within the Parliament, he was seen physically assaulting his opponents during election rallies.

When he was the deputy speaker of the national assembly, Ndugai beat Dr. Joseph Chilongani for photographing him during his violent activities.

When one of the contestants of the elections alleged Ndugai of corruption during the rally, he became enraged and started to find him after getting off the stage to beat him with the stick he carried.

Amid all of this, Dr. Chilongani was filming him, and when Ndugai saw him, he also beat him with his stick, resulting in Chilongani losing consciousness.

Job Ndugai’s Superficial COVID Concerns Busted: He Acted as the President’s Puppet, Whoever it is 

During the presidency of John Magufuli, when the president of the country was a COVID skeptic, Job Ndugai remained hesitant to speak a word against the president and his policies.

He kept on denying the COVID severity and the vaccinations, which led to the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.

However, after the demise of John Magufuli, when Samia Suluhu rose to the presidency, she started embracing vaccinations and started accepting global aid. Since that point, Ndugai has turned into a pro-vaccine person overnight.

In Magufuli’s tenure, no social distancing or mask mandate was being followed in the country’s Parliament; however, now Job Ndugai mandated the mask with the essential social distancing within the Parliament.

A man with no political vision is hindering Tanzania’s Parliament by just acting as a rubber stamp for the president. The burden of the hidden deaths of Tanzanians due to COVID lies on his shoulders, as his hypocrisy and unassertiveness supported Magufuli in denying the virus.

Cecil Mwambe was recalled to the parliament by Job Ndugai even wen he resigned from his job. Constitutionally the should have been declared vacant for by-elections.

Cecil Mwambe was recalled to the parliament by Job Ndugai even wen he resigned from his job. Constitutionally the should have been declared vacant for by-elections.

Protecting Cecil Mwambe: The Epitome of Job Ndugai’s Hypocrisy

On the direction of the executive branch, Job Ndugai has breached Tanzania’s constitution.

Cecil David Mwambe, a former member of Chadema, resigned from Parliament. His salary was stopped, as he ceased to be a member of Parliament following his resignation.

However, he joined the ruling party after resigning, which gave Job Ndugai an incentive to reinstate him in the Parliament, this time in the treasury benches.

As a matter of constitutional fact, once a member of the Parliament resigns, the seat stands vacant and has to be refilled through elections.

However, just because he joined the CCM and had political clout in his constituency, the speaker saw it as an opportunity to expand CCM interests in Tanzania.

Tundu Lissu was unlawfully disenfranchised of his seat in the parliament. The speaker accussed him for unknown whereabouts, but everybody knew that he was being treated in Kenya after surviving assassination.

Tundu Lissu was unlawfully disenfranchised of his seat in the parliament. The speaker accussed him for unknown whereabouts, but everybody knew that he was being treated in Kenya after surviving assassination.

Disenfranchising Tundu Lissu from his Parliament Seat: Job Ndugai at his Worst

In an effort to extend CCM interests and strangle the opposition, speaker Job Ndugai stripped Tundu Lissu of his seat in the Tanzania parliament.

Lissu was accused of remaining absent from the Parliament, and hence the speaker deprived him of the seat.

One of the major concerns of the speaker was that the whereabouts of Lissu were unknown, even though everybody knew that he was being treated in Kenya before leaving for Belgium.

Therefore, the grounds on which he was removed should stand null and void. All the speaker wanted was to make the seat vacant for political purposes so that the political clout of Chadema could vanish.

This unlawful attempt was made by the same man who brought the resigned member Mwambe into the Parliament. Both of these episodes clearly depict that the only way the lawmakers can enjoy a permanent seat in the Parliament is by coming into the good graces of the ruling CCM party.

As the allegations of the unknown whereabouts of Tundu Lissu stand false, and his removal also holds no water constitutionally. Job Ndugai could have been concerned about other useful things instead of being the rubber-stamp of the president.

Anthony Komu was one of the four  MPs of Tanzania who were given shield by Job Ndugai even when they were expelled by Chadema. This went in contradiction of the speaker's early practices when he declared seats of the CCM members vacant when they were expelled from the party.

Anthony Komu was one of the four MPs of Tanzania who were given shield by Job Ndugai even when they were expelled by Chadema. This went in contradiction of the speaker’s early practices when he declared seats of the CCM members vacant when they were expelled from the party.

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One State, Two Laws: Job Ndugai Treating Expelled Members of Opposition and Government Differently

Job Ndugai used different gauges to measure the rebel MPs from the ruling CCM and the opposition Chadema party.

The opposition party expelled some of its MPs for violating the party’s directives. Those MPs included Wilfred Lwakatare, Anthony Komu, David Sieglinde, and Joseph Selasini. 

However, the puppet of the president vowed to “protect” the rights of those MPs, despite the fact that they were expelled from the party as well. These were the duplicitous standards by the speaker, who made the seats of the expelled MPs from CCM and CUF vacant immediately.

The directions to him from the president are clear. If an MP from the ruling party breaks ranks with the party, expel him, but if any such MP from the opposition ranks does the same, protect them, as they are the people who would be used by the president going forward.

 

Helping Magufuli to Extend his Illegitimate Rule: Ndugai Trying his Best to Retain his Speaker’s Job

Job Ndugai, the crook of the all-powerful, tried to help John Magufuli extend his presidential tenure by scrapping the two-term limit mandated under the Tanzanian constitution.

Ndugai was reportedly planning to void the provision that enforced the term limit for president despite the fact that Magufuli announced earlier that he would not seek reelection after two terms.

Obviously, this was only a sugar-coated statement by the president, who wanted to be in the good books of the general public by portraying his innocent image. However, the speaker’s actions spoke volumes about the true ambitions of John Magufuli.

Nduagi was one of the closest partners of the former president and safeguarded his interests while remaining the speaker of the Parliament.

This closeness between Magufulli and Ndugai also explains why the speaker did not enforce any COVID mandates during Magufuli’s tenure.

Job Ndugai tried to safeguard the interest of his political boss Jihn Magufuli by trying to eliminate the term limit of the Presidency.

Job Ndugai tried to safeguard the interest of his political boss Jihn Magufuli by trying to eliminate the term limit of the Presidency.

Political Meddling of the Speaker into Government Institutions: Prof. Mussa Assad Threatened by Ndugai

Job Ndugai exercises the unlimited political power given to him to manipulate and suppress his ideological opponents working in Tanzania’s bureaucracy.

The former Controller and Auditor General, Prof. Mussa Assad, unveiled the inefficiency of the Parliament, for which he came under heavy scrutiny by Job Ndugai.

The Tanzania parliament did not do work assigned to it, and when the CAG told them, Job Ndugai went bonkers. Both of them fell into a verbal clash, followed by Tanzania’s Parliament, led by Job Ndugai, passing a resolution to stop Assad from working with him as CAG.

This was the explicit political meddling of the Parliament into the affairs of the institutions of the country that, under separation of powers, should be free from any political bias or interference.

Job Ndugai also threatened Prof Mussa  Assad, the former CAG. This suggests that the speakers was exercising unnecessary political influence on country's institutions.

Job Ndugai also threatened Prof Mussa Assad, the former CAG. This suggests that the speakers was exercising unnecessary political influence on country’s institutions.

 

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Shenanigans of Tanzania’s Parliament Exposed: Ndugai, an Illegal Leader of an Illegal Parliament

Job Ndugai was elected as the speaker of Tanzania’s Parliament unopposed, as no candidate dared to challenge him.

Of 345 potential votes, he bagged 344 and became the speaker of the national assembly. Within the ruling party, no other politician had the clout to challenge this dictatorship of Ndugai and President Magufuli, which is clearly depicted by the prevailing shenanigans within the ruling CCM party.

Job Ndugai needs to remember that he is the leader of the rigged Parliament because the elections were stolen in the first place.

No watchdog in its sane mind accepted the transparency of Tanzania elections, and if a third-party audit of the elections were carried out, the Parliament would stand dissolved, and along with it, Job Ndugai’s authority.

 

 

Neutralizing the Damage Done by Ndugai: The US Must Lead the International Effort to Save Democracy in Tanzania

Stopping criminals like Ndugai can only be done through free and fair elections, and by appointing an independent body entitled to conduct and monitor those free elections.

The US should step forward to bring electoral transparency to Africa in general and Tanzania in particular.

One of the options for the US is to announce incentives for African nations to encourage them to allow observers from the US or UN to conduct a study of the country’s elections.

Tanzania is currently given the perks under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by America, which helps the country by giving duty-free access to many of its commodities in the US. It is the primary driver of Tanzania’s exports.

Seeing the non-transparent elections in the country, the US should tie the benefits of the agreement to free elections. If Tanzania does not allow the US to observe its elections’ transparency, the US must retreat from its support from the country.

Similarly, if the African nation allows electoral watchdogs, the US should expand the scope of duty-free exports for Tanzania. This will bring the Tanzanian Parliament to justice.

For countries like Tanzania, this will be a big relief and a larger opportunity, as the economy is already struggling.

Similarly, appointing commissions to study the efficiency of the parliament structure and actions can also do wonders with the same sort of advantages.

These bodies will save poor, underdeveloped nations from the likes of Job Ndugai, who continues ruling Tanzania’s parliament despite his poor performance.

 

Final Thoughts

Time and time again, Job Ndugai has emerged as a rubber stamp of the Tanzanian presidents with no individual political vision, apparently.

His ineptness is beyond any comprehension, as he will only follow the whims of the president. CCM found a puppet in him, which helped them control the illegal Parliament of Tanzania.

But this is not just the story of Tanzania’s Parliament. Every other government body is heavily influenced by the presidency, an example of which can be seen in the police and judiciary behavior, who have also become the mouthpieces of the government in the Freeman Mbowe case.

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