Dar es Salaam – Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda has today issued a 24-hour ultimatum to members of parliament directing them to leave the city or else risk being arrested.
In a video message Mr. Makonda said all members of parliament who will not have left Dar es Salaam within the specified time, will be arrested for being idle and disorderly. He revealed that the arrest would be handled in the same way prostitutes are dealt with on the streets.
According to RC Makonda, the only Members of Parliament allowed in Tanzania’s commercial capital at the moment are those who have secured permits from the Speaker of Parliament Job Ndugai.
“MPs are supposed to be in parliament to debate the 2020-2021 national budgets,” he said.
The RC’s ultimatum follows a directive from President John Pombe Magufuli to the effect that all absentee MPs should not be paid any allowances by Parliament. Magufuli made these remarks during the swearing in of Mwigulu Nchemba, as the new Constitutional and Legal Affairs Minister.
President Magufuli’s hard stance follows last week’s clarion call by the head of Tanzania’s Opposition in Parliament and Chadema national chairman who urged his party’s MPs to stay away from Parliament as a precautionary measure in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
True to the opposition leader’s words, some MPs have responded and indicated they will defy respect RC Makonda’s directive.
“I will not go to Dodoma. I will stay in Dar es Salaam. Iam protecting myself and family from the virus,” Zitto Kabwe posted on twitter.