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Monday, July 2, 2012

`Speaker muzzling debate on doctors` strike, Dr Ulimboka kidnapping

 
 
Speaker Anne Makinda
The official opposition camp in the National Assembly has labelled Speaker Anne Makinda, a ‘prefect’ who is defending the government in the House.
Opposition MPs have urged her to stop that presumed role they say she uses to stop House discussion on the ongoing medical doctors’ strike and the related kidnapping and beating up of Dr Steven Ulimboka.
At a press conference here over the weekend Shadow Chief Whip Tundu Lissu said the opposition camp would not tolerate the situation as it contravened parliamentary standing orders.
Lissu said he was puzzled by the Speaker’s stance to openly defend the government while she has the knowledge that the case which is in a court of law has no connection with the kidnapping of Dr Ulimboka
“I can call this matter as an attempt to murder Dr Ulimboka and for that matter the opposition camp has decided to take action,” noted Lissu.
“Since Thursday, when we rise to get clarification on this matter, Speaker Makinda has been ordering us to sit down on the pretext that the matter is in court. What she is doing is contrary to parliamentary standing orders,” the chief whip underlined.
“We are finding it difficult. You can not say that the matter is in a court of law whereas in the meantime the Government is dismissing medical doctors from work. We say no to this mistreatment and we will use the same standing orders to send the message, so as to enable the House to debate on the matter,” said Lissu.
On the kidnapping of Dr Ulimboka, Lissu said the opposition camp was asking for the formation of an independent commission to probe the matter.
“Since Dr Ulimboka has managed to recognise one of the men who kidnapped him and the person in question is known as Msangi, and is one of the police officers at the Dar es Salaam police zone, we demand immediate arrest of this person and all those alleged to have been involved,” noted Lissu.
He said the commission should be headed by a judge from the Court of Appeal and should also comprise members from reputable bodies such as the Tanganyika Law Society.
However, Speaker Makinda told the House after the question and answer session that she did not favour the government nor was she suppressing the opposition but she was only acting in accordance with parliamentary standing orders.

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