Apparently, the legislators said the decision will give them ample time to actively represent their electorate, saying they had been spending most of their time on the committee’s activities.
Dr Kafumu, Igunga Member of Parliament on CCM ticket and Ms Kamata, Special Seats on CCM, told reporters here that nobody had influenced them but took the decision based on national and their political interests.
“I have hardly had sufficient time for my electorate and I have been missing important meetings in my constituency … these are the factors that have prompted me to reevaluate my position as the committee chairman… I am resigning,” Dr Kafumu said.
He added: “I have already informed the National Assembly Speaker (Mr Job Ndugai), I will soon submit my resignation letter. I have only two years left to serve my people better.”
Dr Kafumu who served as the committee chairman for one year and several months said he was also worried of losing his constituency during the coming general election due to his concentration on the committee’s activities instead of working for his voters.
“There are some people already visiting my constituency, I am worried that I might lose it during the coming election. I want to spend the remaining time working hard for my people,” Dr Kafumu insisted.
Apart from his poor representation, he said, there has been poor cooperation among the committee, government and other MPs. “As a result, some significant issues of national interest are not being accorded the prominence they deserve.”
He argued: “May be this task is beyond our capabilities … we are resigning to give chance to others. My committee through its evaluation report had advised on improvement of the Dar es Salaam Port but it seems there are delays in taking action,” he said.
The legislators proposed the execution of a joint strategy to enable the country attain its industrial drive by especially putting all investment related issues under one roof. Ms Kamata said her resignation meant to give other MPs an opportunity to lead the committee, saying she envisages through Victoria Foundation working closely with Geita Region’s women.
Contacted, Mr Ndugai was non-committal, maintaining that he had not received the resignation letters, which later in the evening, the private office of the Speaker confirmed to have received.
One of the Committee members and Maswa-East MP Stanslaus Nyongo said Dr Kafumu had informed the parliamentarians about his decision before the committee commenced its activities yesterday.
The committee members reportedly persuaded their leaders to reverse the decisions but to no avail. The Parliamentary Standing Orders give powers to committee members to elect the new leaders following the resignation of Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.
Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, reacting on committee’s allegations, said his ministry receives advices not only from the committee but other stakeholders as well.
“The government has been receiving views from the committee and individual Tanzanians and work on them because ours is a team-work, but there are some proposals that cannot be implemented overnight,” he added.