The Alliance for Democratic Change (ACT-Wazalendo) has said it would table in Parliament a motion of no confidence against President John Magufuli in the event of some Tanzanians dying of hunger.
This was said by ACT Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe during a campaign rally for Kijichi Ward councillor’s seat.
Mr Kabwe said President Magufuli would become the first country’s Head of State to face a vote of no confidence in Parliament should people die for lack of food.
The ACT-Wazalendo leader said according to Article 46 (a) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, Parliament may debate a “No confidence vote” if at least 20 per cent of Members of Parliament support the move.
“If the Opposition members would unite, then President Magufli would become the first Head of State in the county’s to face a confidence motion,” Mr Kabwe said.
The party leader added that the President must stop heaping blame on some politicians and the media claiming that they were politicising the famine reports.
“We, ACT-Wazalendo are urging the President to be responsive because this is a democratic country; not everyone holding a different view over matters of the country (contrary to that of the government) has been bribed,” he said.
Mr Kabwe advised the President to observe the Constitution in the course of discharging his duties.
According to the firebrand opposition politician, it was the constitutional duty of the government to protect its people in the event of any calamity or disaster.
At the same time, he called on the Head of State to remember that no one was above the law.
The ACT-Wazalendo leader said further that although the President has played down the famine reports, only time would tell who between the government and the Opposition was telling the truth.
Mr Kabwe commended religious leaders for weighing in on the matter.
The prevailing drought in parts of the country has made the Catholic Church to issue a pastoral letter to its believers calling them to pray for rain.
In the letter dispatched to bishops, the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) President, Bishop Tarcisius Ngalalekumtwa, warned that the country was facing a dire situation due to the prolonged dry season.
Bishop Ngalalekumtwa, who is the head of the Catholic Church in Tanzania, asked bishops to organise special masses from yesterday for congregations to pray so that it would rain in the country.
The ACT-leader claimed further that although the President has done well in restoring discipline in the public sector, some of his statements have not only hurt wananchi but have also been scaring away investors. “It is not right for the President to address the masses as if he was still in the election campaigns. He should focus on building the country as well as generating employment opportunities,” he said.
Calls from a cross-section of leaders have continued to mount on the government to accept the real situation on the ground and take action to forestall a crisis over the unpredictability of the situation.
Scores of regional government officials have signalled stress arising from drought and death of livestock in their areas but the national government is yet to issue a firm direction on how to respond to the growing famine threat. In his recent addresses at public rallies, President Magufuli denied there is famine threat and stressed that his government would not give food relief to anyone.