Zanzibar election News 15-26,Oct.'95

Police tear gas Tanzanian opposition rally
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (Reuter)Oct.15
- Tanzanian police tear gassed an opposition political rally Saturday causing a stampede which left 27 people injured, local newspapers said Sunday. Police fired tear gas on the rally at Pemba Island after asking organisers of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) to disperse in favor of another rally nearby organized by supporters of the incumbent president Dr. Salmin Amour, said the pro-government Daily News. "CUF supporters demanded that the request be put in writing and this infuriated the police who fired warning shots in the air before hurling tear gas cannisters at the crowd to disperse it," the newspaper said. Three people were seriously injured and 24 more were taken to hospital when police broke up the CUF rally. Analysts said the incident is bound to raise tension just one week before the Zanzibar islands go to the polls to elect the island' s president and parliament. More than 95 per cent of Zanzibar's population, divided between the two main islands of Unguja and Pemba, have registered for forthcoming elections. CUF is confident of a landslide victory on Pemba said one Western diplomat who visited the island recently. Amour of the ruling CCM party is contesting the presidential elections against Seif Shariff Hamad of CUF. One week after the Zanzibar poll the rest of Tanzania will vote in the country's first ever multiparty general elections. It marks the stepping down from power of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi who has held office for 10 years. The Zanzibari poll is being keenly watched by observers because of a history of violence during elections and because the result could affect mainland voting. Both the CUF and the mainland opposition party NCCR-Mageuzi have persistently complained that the ruling CCM, in power for three decades, has mobilised the police to prevent them campaigning. NCCR leaders last month cut short a tour of Tanga region and sought hospital treatment after being tear-gassed by police. Two more rallies were due to take place on Pemba Sunday.
Copyright 1995 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The above news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of Reuters Ltd. Bigg, Matt, Police tear gas Tanzanian opposition rally., Reuters, 10-15-1995.
-- Zanzibaris vote in their first multiparty polls on Oct. 22 amid uncertainty about the future of the 31-year-old union linking their archipelago to mainland Tanzania. Eligible voters among the 750,000 Zanzibaris will elect members of the isles' House of Representatives as well as Zanzibar's president. One week later they join electors in Tanganyika (mainland Tanzania) in voting for a union president and the legislators who will sit in the union parliament in Dar es Salaam. Zanzibar merged with Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanzania in April 1964, three months after the archipelago's last Arab oligarchy was toppled in a revolution. However, whether the union will continue under its present form will depend largely on the outcome of the two elections. "Whoever emerges as the winner, the union issue will be a hot one," predicts Abdulrahamani Babu, a Zanzibari and a former planning minister in the union government. The presidential race is between two candidates, one each from the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and the Civic United Front (CUF). While neither the incumbent, Salim Amor of the CCM, Tanzania's ruling party, nor his rival, the CUF's Seid Shariff Hamad, has advocated the dissolution of the union, there are doubts in Zanzibar as to its benefits. Under the present system, defense, internal affairs and foreign affairs fall under the union government while Zanzibar's administration is self-governing in other areas. Many Zanzibaris would like to see the union watered down and long for the days when their archipelago was a sovereign nation, with a buoyant economy, its per capita income matched in sub-Saharan Africa only by Ghana and South Africa. At the time, cloves, Zanzibar's main export, benefitted from high world market prices. Now, however, the territory shares the ills of its union partner: a troubled economy, a large public debt, lack of trained manpower and an overweight bureaucracy. There have been fears that if the CUF's Hamad wins, the union is likely to break up, although he himself has maintained that "whoever wins the elections, Zanzibar has to maintain the union." A more evident threat to the cohesion of Tanzania is posed on the mainland where there is a growing movement of Tanganyikan nationalism. In late 1993, a group of 55 parliamentarians successfully moved to establish an administration in Tanganyika that would govern the mainland separately from Zanzibar. However, due to the intervention of ex-president Julius Nyerere, the measure's implementation was delayed pending wider consultation in the ruling CCM. More recently, there has been an upsurge of separatist sentiment on the mainland, with one of its most extreme exponents being the unregistered Democratic Party led by Rev. Christopher Mtikila. Mtikila, described here as a Christian fundamentalist, has repeatedly launched verbal attacks against Islam, the religion of 95 per cent of Zanzibaris. (Tanganyika's 29 million people are evenly divided between Christians, Muslims and followers of African religions.) And the Democratic Party leader has openly campaigned for the separation of Zanzibar and Tanganyika. On the other hand, the union has a strong advocate in 73-year-old Nyerere, who ruled Tanzania for a quarter of a century until he resigned in 1985. He recently held private talks with the CUF's Hamad in Dar es Salaam, a move many here interpreted as aimed at seeking guarantees that the union would be maintained.
Copyright 1995 IPS/GIN. The contents of this story can not be duplicated in any fashion without written permission of Global Information Network Chintowa, Paul,
Ruling party ends Zanzibar campaign
ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (Reuter)Oct.21
- After 30 years in sole command, Tanzania' s ruling party ended its first real electoral campaign Saturday with a rousing eve-of-poll rally in Zanzibar. About 25,000 well-marshalled supporters thronged a central park in ancient Zanzibar Town before they are to vote Sunday for the Indian Ocean islands' own president and legislature. The poll will give the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM, Revolutionary Party) a hint of what to expect in the Tanzanian union's first multi- party elections on Oct. 29. "Vote for CCM so we can accomplish the job that we started," Salmin Amour, Zanzibar's incumbent president, told the crowd. The CCM and its predecessor have never faced an opposition challenge before for presidency or parliament since 1964 when mainland Tanganyika and Zanzibar were joined in an often strained political marriage. The opposition, led by the Civic United Front (CUF) in Zanzibar, says that after 31 years of CCM rule Tanzania remains one of the world's 10 poorest countries. But the final CUF rally Saturday attracted only one third of Amour' s turnout. The wealth gap between the two parties was striking with CCM supporters bussed to the meeting bedecked with green flags, caps and T-shirts while CUF made do with hand-made propaganda. The CCM's exclusive hold on power will end Sunday when Zanzibar' s 350,000 registered voters follow most of Africa and discover the new world of multi-party polls, electing their president and 50 island legislators. Results are expected on Monday and Tuesday. One week later the mainland's 12 million voters plus the islanders will vote for the union presidency and parliament. In Zanzibar, dominated by the islands of Unguja and Pemba, the threat to CCM comes from the CUF's presidential candidate, Seif Shariff Hamad. "The CUF is very strong on Pemba but not so strong on Unguja so it will be close," a Western diplomat, one of 142 U.N.-organized foreign electoral observers in Zanzibar, told Reuters. "Just take a glance at the last 31 years. Nothing has improved and everything is getting worse," Hamad told his supporters Saturday, picking on health and education. Speaking in the national language of Swahili, Hamad said Zanzibari hospitals were so clean under British colonial rule that patients could safely sleep in the lavatory. But today they were so dirty that if you were admitted for malaria you were discharged with head-lice, Hamad said. Despite the rhetoric and some incidents, campaigning throughout Tanzania has been generally good-natured. "After the elections, whatever the candidates may have said, we will still have to live together," said one Zanzibari returning home by hydrofoil from the mainland Saturday. CUF is stressing Zanzibari nationalism but is not advocating secession from the rest of Tanzania. The islands have a large degree of self- government but also vote in the union elections. CUF wants a de facto federal arrangement with a three-government system, adding one for the mainland to the present set-up, effectively to diminish the powers of the central authority. This idea is rejected by the CCM which, on the mainland, faces its sternest threat from Augustine Mrema's NCCR-Mageuzi. Many on the mainland, where 95 percent of Tanzania's nearly 30 million people live, express impatience with Zanzibar's claims to even greater autonomy.
REUTER Copyright 1995 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The above news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of Reuters Ltd. Kotch, Nicholas, Tanzania's ruling party ends Zanzibar campaign., Reuters, 10-21-1995.
Stoic Zanzibaris voted peacefully
ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (Reuter)Oct.22
- Stoic Zanzibaris voted peacefully in their first multi-party elections Sunday, the dress rehearsal for Tanzania's entry into the club of African nations that have dropped one-party rule. Braving sporadic rain that became a tropical downpour and patiently tolerating bureaucratic hiccups, the islanders queued for hours to elect their own president and parliament. In some of the 2,028 polling stations voting was extended beyond the 6 p.m. deadline as electoral officials and voters came to grips with the new era of multiple choice. Since 1964, when Zanzibar was joined with mainland Tanganyika in the union of Tanzania, one party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), has ruled the roost. That monopoly will end Monday or Tuesday in Zanzibar, when official results are announced, and in Tanzania as a whole after separate elections Oct. 29. By the end of voting there were no reports of violence or serious incidents on Unguja, Zanzibar's main island. The picture on Pemba was unclear due to atrocious telecommunications and electricity supplies on the Indian Ocean islands. "Things are going very smoothly as you have seen. In a few places voting started late because the political parties have lots of questions, " Aboud Tahib, director of elections at the Zanzibar Electoral Commission, told Reuters early Sunday. The battle in Zanzibar was between the CCM's incumbent president, Salmin Amour, and the head of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), Seif Shariff Hamad. Both parties predicted victory, although the CCM faithful appeared to do so with greater conviction. More pertinently, the two rivals have publicly agreed to accept the verdict of the ballot box without protest. Most voters were unconcerned by the important fine print of the new multi-party world they were entering. For instance, although the new island parliament will have 75 members, only 50 will have been elected. Others are nominated or appointed by the new president and 10 women will be added according to party strengths in the election. This means that the president's party will inevitably control parliament. Zanzibar will also be grossly over-represented in the new union parliament since with only three percent of Tanzania's 29 million population it will return 50 members, or more than 20 percent of the house. This anomaly was an irrelevance in one-party days but seems likely to be challenged in future. CUF has clear appeal to voters wanting change after 31 years of CCM rule that have failed to lift Tanzania out of the 10 poorest countries in the world.
Copyright 1995 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The above news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of Reuters Ltd. Kotch, Nicholas, Zanzibaris ignore rain, snags, for first free vote., Reuters, 10-22-1995.
Tanzania's ruling party headed for victory Tuesday
ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (Reuter)Oct.23
- Tanzania's ruling party headed for victory Tuesday in the first multiparty elections in the Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar after three decades of one-party rule. African observers pronounced the elections free and fair as Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) led with more than half the parliamentary results declared. More crucially CCM's Salmin Amour was ahead in the two-horse race for Zanzibar's presidency. Sunday's elections were an important dress rehearsal for CCM's bid to retain power in Tanzania as a whole Oct. 29. Zanzibar was joined with mainland Tanganyika in the new union of Tanzania in 1964 and one-party rule was installed a few months later. An observer group sent by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) praised Zanzibar's 350,000 voters for their "outstanding maturity, sense of responsibility and seriousness of purpose even in the face of isolated logistical problems." "The group is satisfied that the elections were conducted in a free and transparent manner ... in this crucial process of transition from a single party system to a pluralistic multi-party democracy, " the group said in a statement late on Monday. Because of the painfully slow pace of announcing official results, the final outcome was still in doubt more than 30 hours after the end of polling. But all the signs pointed to a CCM victory against the opposition Civic United Front (CUF). The CUF was trailing CCM 17-9 late Monday for the House of Representatives, which has 50 elected members. The opposition was still banking on winning all 21 seats in its stronghold on Pemba island. CCM was far ahead on the main island of Unguja, which has twice as many voters as Pemba. Election analysts said this would ensure the safe return of Amour to the islands' presidency with the power to control the House of Representatives by dint of the 16 extra members he may nominate and appoint. "It looks very like CCM are going to win," a senior member of the 142-strong group of foreign observers told Reuters. The opposition was unready to concede defeat Monday night but the mood at CUF headquarters in a winding alley in Zanzibar Town was sombre. "It seems we have suffered a tremendous defeat on (Unguja)," Hassan Khatib, a CUF leader, told Reuters. "The advantage of the CCM is that they have full control of the government machinery, including the intelligence officials," he added. CCM's No. 2, Ali Ameir, said he was surprised at CUF's strength on Pemba. "But we will get a good majority of votes on Unguja and a fair number in Pemba so we should win the presidency," he said. Apart from claims by CUF of irregularities during some counts and unfair voter registration rules, the elections have been held without serious incident. When CCM supporters angered the opposition by prematurely celebrating victory Monday, they quickly disappeared from the streets. Many Zanzibaris said memories were still vivid of the butchery in 1964 in the aftermath of the islands' last multiparty elections. The violence ended with the demise of centuries of Omani Arab rule but at least 5,000 Arabs and Indian merchants were killed. "Everyone was nervous before these elections because of what happened in 1964," said one government worker. Many in Zanzibar's small Indian community took no chances this time, sending dependants out of the islands and boarding up their shops.
REUTER Copyright 1995 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The above news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of Reuters Ltd. Kotch, Nicholas, Ruling party heads for victory in Zanzibar., Reuters, 10-23-1995.
-- Elections scheduled for Oct. 29 in Tanzania hang in the balance following controversy over the Oct. 22 polls in Zanzibar. Augustin Mrema, the main opposition candidate in Tanzania's presidential polls, today threatened to boycott the Oct. 29 elections unless the demands of Zanzibar's opposition Civic United Front (CUF) for a recount of the votes cast on Oct. 22 were met. The archipelago of Zanzibar and Tanganyika, located on the East African mainland, form the union of Tanzania. Zanzibaris turned out en masse on Oct. 22 to elect members of a 50-seat house of assembly and the president of the self-governing archipelago. But the CUF has demanded a recount of the votes cast in the presidential elections and access to the voters' lists of all 50 constituencies. "My party will not endorse the presidential election results if our demands are ignored," said presidential candidate Seif Shariff Hamad, CUF's vice-chairman. "CUF members who won seats in the house of representatives will stage civil disobedience if the election results are announced unilaterally giving the CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) victory," he said. According to preliminary results, the CUF won 23 of the 50 seats in the parliamentary elections, while the CCM, which is also the ruling party on the mainland, obtained 25. Up to today, international observers were helping local polling officials to recount the ballots in two constituencies. The last partial result of the presidential election was announced yesterday. It gave the CCM candidate Salman Amour 48,000 votes to Hamad's 45,000. There were 350,000 registered voters. But after the CUF called for a recount, CCM officials in Zanzibar also claimed there had been irregularities. "Some polling stations had opened late while there was more voters in the elections than those registered," said CCM official Juma Ameir. But, unlike the CUF, the CCM wants the elections annulled and new ones held. A senior CCM official said today on Radio Zanzibar that the party felt the results of the elections should not be announced because of the irregularities. All this has led to speculation that the opposition candidate may have won the presidential race. The confusion over the Zanzibari election has spilled over into mainland Tanzania, with Mrema threatening to pull out of the Oct. 29 polls in which Tanganyikans and Zanzibaris are to elect a president of the Tanzanian union. Mrema, candidate of the National Convention for Constitutional Reform (NCCR-Maguezi), said today that if the CCM refused to accept defeat in Zanzibar, it would do the same come Oct. 29. He said the voters' lists for the Oct. 29 elections should be made known before the polls and that every ballot paper should be signed so as to minimize the risk of irregularities. Whatever the doubts about the Oct. 22 elections, they served to highlight the internal division in Zanzibar, most of whose 750,000 people live on two main islands, Unguja and the smaller Pemba. According to the preliminary results announced yesterday, the CUF made a clean sweep of the 21 seats in Pemba, Hamad's home island. Relations between Pemba and Unguja have been tense ever since the last Arab sultan to have ruled the islands was deposed in a 1964 uprising in Unguja, which most Pembans did not support. Pembans have constantly complained of having less than their fair share of political power in the archipelago: all five presidents who have ruled Zanzibar since 1964 have been from Unguja and very few Pembans have held ministerial posts in successive Zanzibari governments..
Copyright 1995 IPS/GIN. The contents of this story can not be duplicated in any fashion without written permission of Global Information Network Chintowa, Paul, TANZANIA-POLITICS: ZANZIBAR CONTROVERSY THREATENS UNION POLLS., Inter Press Service English News Wire, 10-26-1995. Ruling party heads for victory in Zanzibar
-- Zanzibar's main opposition party has rejected the result of a presidential election held on Oct. 22 in the Indian Ocean archipelago, won by Salman Amour of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). The Zanzibari Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced today that 53-year-old Amour, the incumbent, won by a narrow margin, polling 165,271 votes to 163,706 for Seif Shariff Hamad of the Civic United Front (CUF). However, the CUF said it would not accept the result. It charged that the four-day delay in completing the tally reinforced its belief that it had been doctored and reiterated earlier demands for a recount. "I am sure the election has been rigged," CUF Secretary-General Shaaban Mloo said today. "We are not going to endorse the results. We want fresh elections." "We don't trust the commission," added Mloo. Yesterday, the CCM had called for the election to be annulled, charging that there had been irregularities, but after the announcement of the result, party officials said they were happy with it and accepted it. Commission director Aboud Talib said the whole election process was "free and fair" and that "the delay was caused by heavy rains and late voting." Adding that the commission had come under attack from both parties, he stressed that the elections were held without favor or malice. "We in the commission are satisfied with the results and we don't accept the blame," he said. The dispute could lead to unrest in Zanzibar since the CUF today reiterated an earlier threat to launch a campaign of civil disobedience if the ZEC refused its call for a recount. CUF leaders told journalists today that they would ignore any government that emerges from the election because it would be illegal. Ninety-five per cent of the 348,934 registered voters in the archipelago turned out at the presidential and parliamentary polls held on Oct. 22, in which the CUF won 24 seats in the islands' house of assembly, while the CCM obtained the remaining 26. Zanzibar, which is self-governing, united with mainland Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanzania in April 1964, three months after the archipelago's last Arab sultan was toppled in a revolution. Zanzibaris are expected to vote again on Oct. 29, along with the people of Tanganyika for a new Tanzanian president and members of the union parliament. However, says Khamis Jecha, a Zanzibari resident here, "if the two sides disagree on the results, then many people in the islands especially in Pemba, will not take part in the elections." The CUF won all 21 parliamentary seats in Pemba, the smaller of the two main islands in the archipelago, while the CCM obtained 26 of the 29 seats on the larger island, Unguja. "If Salmin wants peace, then he should form a government of national unity," said Ayoub Seif Khatib, a shop owner from Pemba who lives the Tanzanian capital. This would be a marked departure from past practice. Few people from Pemba have been included in successive Zanzibari governments since 1964.
Copyright 1995 IPS/GIN. The contents of this story can not be duplicated in any fashion without written permission of Global Information Network Chintowa, Paul, ZANZIBAR-POLITICS: OPPOSITION QUERIES CCM PRESIDENTIAL VICTORY., Inter Press Service English News Wire, 10-27-1995.
The letters about Zanzibar & Tanzania election
  1. E-mail from whom knows Zanzibar condition well.Oct.29.'95
  2. E-mail from Tanzanian overseas Oct.30.'95
  3. E-mail from Anonymous Oct.31-Nov.3
  4. E-mail from Tanzanian overseas Nov.16.'95
  5. E-mail from Tanzanian overseas Nov.19.'95
  6. E-mail from Anonymous Nov.25
  7. E-mail from Anonymous Nov.26
  8. E-mail from Anonymous Dec.22
  9. E-mail from Anonymous Jan.16,1996
  10. E-mail from Anonymous Jan.29,1996
  11. E-mail from Anonymous Feb.1,1996(in Swahili)
  12. E-mail from Anonymous Feb.2,1996
  13. E-mail from Anonymous Feb.9,1996
  14. Zanzibar election Diary Oct.19-27,1995
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