Opinion: Why President Samia Suluhu Should Appoint Freeman Mbowe and Zitto Kabwe As MPs

On May 7th this year, President Samia Suluhu met with Dar Es Salaam elders at Mlimani City. While speaking to the elders she made clear her intentions of using Tanzanians from every walks of life and from every political spectrum in order to bring positive change to the country. She said and I quote, “…any Tanzanian with expertise who can be useful to the nation, I will bring them onboard. I won’t choose this one comes from which party, that one comes from which party. The aim is to build unity among Tanzanians.”

The President has kept her word on this by recently appointing Queen Sendiga as the new Regional Commissioner for Tabora region. Queen Sendiga was the presidential candidate in last years general elections through ADC party. Before that she also appointed a number of experts to her presidential advisory team from the private sector who are at least not publically affiliated with any political party.

With that said, the President should go a step farther. In a show of good faith and in the spirit of national unity, she should appoint former MPs Freeman Mbowe and Zitto Kabwe to parliament. Mr. Mbowe is the chairman of the largest opposition party and Mr. Kabwe is the party leader of the fastest growing opposition party. And if such an offer is presented to them then Mr. Mbowe and Mr. Kabwe should accept.

This move from President Suluhu won’t be without precedence. Back in 2012, then President Kikwete appointed NCCR-Mageuzi chairman, Mr. James Mbatia to parliament. Such a move from the president can be an initial step in healing any ill feelings from the opposition and help bring them back into the fray.

And even with the appointment of Mr. Mbowe and Mr. Zitto to parliament, the president will still have one slot left for nomination to parliament. That one should also go to another opposition leader of her choosing. With her cabinet firmly in place I doubt she needs any of the remaining slots to fill out cabinet positions and if need be she should have plenty of choices from current members of parliament.

Thomas J Kibwana.

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Political Enthusiast

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