Dar es Salaam. On April 30 next year, Tanzanians through a referendum will decide if they want the proposed Constitution to be their new and permanent Constitution or not. If they vote for it, then it will be their Constitution for many years to come, affecting not only the current generation, but many others in the future. Subject to referendum results, this proposed Constitution might be the first Constitution, whose enactment involved Tanzanians through several stages as were enshrined in the Constitutional Review Act, 2011 (Cap 83, RE 2012), which, among other things, established the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) that went around the country collecting public views on the new Constitution.
The second important stage was that of the Constituent Assembly (CA), which was supposed to use the Draft Constitution to prepare the proposed Constitution. Thus, in principle this will be the first people’s Constitution and hence throughout its existence Tanzanians must have the ownership of their Constitution at least to some extent if not the whole document. The CRC knowing that Tanzanians must continue having a say in their Constitution even after being approved through the referendum, provided in the Draft Constitution provisions, which do not give a free hand to parliament to change some of the basic provisions of the Constitution; in particular those, which are considered as the heart of the Constitution.
The Draft Constitution provides in Article 119: Bunge halitaweza kufanya mabadiliko ya Katiba kuhusu:
(a) masharti yaliyomo katika Sura ya Kwanza, Sura ya Pili na Sura ya Nne;
(b) masharti ya Ibara ya 60;
(c) masharti ya Ibara ya 79;
(d) kuongeza au kupunguza jambo lolote la Muungano;
(e)uwepo wa Jamhuri ya Muungano;
(f) masharti ya Ibara hii,hadi kwanza mabadiliko hayo yaungwe mkono na theluthi mbili ya
wananchi wa Jamhuri ya Muungano kutoka kila upande waJamhuri ya
Muungano kwa Kura ya Maoni itakayoendeshwa na kusimamiwa na
Tume Huru ya Uchaguzi ya Jamhuri ya Muungano kwa mujibu wa sheria