Kikwete set to assent to ‘controversial’ bills


BUCK STOPS WITH ME: President Jakaya Kikwete


DODOMA, TANZANIA: President Jakaya Kikwete will sign all the bills that were recently passed by the National Assembly despite pleas from critics and some civil society organisations requesting him not to sign the bills into law, the State House said on Monday.

The much-touted bills include the controversial Cyber Crime bill, Personal Data bill of 2015 as well as the Statistics bill of 2013.

Critics had repeatedly urged the president not to sign the cyber crimes and statistics bills on grounds that the laws would undermine citizen journalism and deter individuals and academic institutions from undertaking researches.
But addressing a press conference in Dar es Salaam, Director of the President Communications, Salvatory Rweyemamu said there was nothing wrong with the pieces of legislation so far.

“The President shall sign all the legislations considering that they went through all the required channels,” he said.

Rweyemamu also acknowledged that if there were shortfalls in the bills, there were still windows for amendments. He reiterated that the president had described the bills as having good content for the benefit of all citizens.
“The bills are not designed to control freedom of the press and research institutions.”

On the Media Service bill and Access to Information bill of 2015, Rweyemamu said all stakeholders should participate in improving the documents which have already been tabled in Parliament.