The consultations are part of President Kikwete's initiatives to continue engaging various stakeholders, including political parties, civic organisations, academics and religious leaders, in the process.
The President has already signed into law the Constitution Review Bill of 2011 and pledged to appoint members of a commission that would collect views from the people on the country's basic law before the end of the first quarter of this year.
In his New Year message, the President explained clearly that the doors were still open for various groups to call on him for dialogue and on the new constitution review process.
This is the second time for top Chadema leaders to meet the President to deliberate on the constitution review process within two months. He has already met Civic United Front (CUF) for the same purpose. It is for this reason that the national chairman of the NCCR-Mageuzi, Mr James Mbatia, on Saturday rightly hailed President Kikwete for welcoming opposition and other stakeholders to the State House for regular consultations on the constitutional review process.
Mr Mbatia and President Kikwete underscored the crucial importance of the constitution to the society that needed seriousness in its preparation. President Kikwete reiterated that the present constitution that has been in place since 1977, has so far served the nation well, particularly in uniting the people, maintaining peace in the country despite many local and external challenges.
However, the nation now needs a constitution to enable it to cope with the social, political and economic challeges of the 21st century. It is hoped that the process will be concluded according to its roadmap by April 2014, as the country celebrates the 50th anniversary of the union between the then Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The new constitution, it is expected, is going to be applied during the next general election in October 2015.
The meeting with top Chadema leaders including its Secretary General, Dr Wilbrod Slaa, until very late hours on Saturday night, reflects his commitment to bring about the new constitution smoothly. The president's initiatives and his recent engagement with opposition political parties are at odds with the prophets of doom and those propagating politics of chaos, name calling and mistrust. There are those who claim that Chadema and CCM leaders cannot see eye to eye and are not ready to sit and deliberate on issues of national interest. Such people have been proved wrong.