E-mail from Anonymous June,21,1998

Zanzibar opposition leader questioned on documents
01:08 p.m Jul 09, 1998 Eastern ZANZIBAR, July 9 (Reuters)

Police on Zanzibar questioned the main opposition leader on Thursday as part of an investigation into treason. Seif Shariff Hamad, vice chairman of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), told Reuters he was summoned before the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and questioned for one hour.
Police questioned the leader over documents found with his aide Hamad Mmanga eight months ago, Seif Shariff Hamad said. He added the documents were not classified but declined to give further details. ``I believe they are just trying to keep me busy and harass me to answer the authorities,'' he said. Hamad was convicted of possessing confidential government documents in 1989 and served a three-year prison sentence. Eighteen CUF members or supporters, including Hamad Mmanga, have been charged with treason.
The CUF members were rounded up after the party defeated the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Party of the Revolution-CCM) in a byelection on the semi-autonomous Tanzanian islands last November. Zanzibar President Salmin Amour was narrowly reelected in October 1995, but the vote was criticised by diplomats for irregularities and the CUF has refused to accept the result.
On Wednesday, the human rights group Amnesty International issued a public statement calling for the release of those charged with treason. ``(The organisation) considers (the defendants) to be prisoners of conscience imprisoned solely on account of their non-violent opinions and political activities, and is calling on the Tanzanian government to release them unconditionally,'' Amnesty said in a statement.
Zanzibar's twin islands of Unguja and Pemba joined Tanganyika in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Eastern Africa News, June19,1998

The opposition Civic United Front say they will never apologise to be accepted back in the House according to their leader in the house, Abbakar Khamis Bakar. Reacting to speaker's announcement Wednesday that the 24 CUF MPs will only be accepted back to the house after an apology.

Speaker Ameir Kificho made the statement a day after the house voted to suspend CUF legislators indefinitely for their failure to make regular appearances in the house. Bakar said they would not apologise to the House because they believed speaker Kificho had gone "against the constitution and against the house regulations.

The suspension, he added, was a blessing as it would allow them more time for work in their constituencies. CUF boycotted the house since the elections of 1995 which they claim were rigged by the president. Six of the 24 CUF MPs are on treason charges and their case comes up for mention on June 23. Kificho said the 6 would be exempt from the suspension.

Eastern Africa News, May 19,1998

A senior opposition leader in Zanzibar was summoned to police headquarters amid fears that he might be implicated in the ongoing Zanzibar treason case according to reports in the local press. A medical doctor turned politician, Dr Juma Muchi, was served with police summons last Friday. But the summons did not specify the reason for being called to report to the police. Dr Muchi was reported to have said that he was ready to honour the order even if he knew the move was part of a series of arrests aimed at prominent members of the main opposition party Civic United Front (CUF). He said he fears that he will be jointly charged with the other suspects like what happened to the CUF legislator for Mkunazini, Juma Haji Duni last Monday.

Eastern Africa News, May 15,1998
An outspoken opposition leader who is also a member in the House of Representatives, Juma Duni, has been joined in the reason trial facing 16 other Civic United Front (CUF) leaders. Duni was charged at the regional court before magistrate Jimmy Obeid. He was not required to enter any plea. The accused MP for mkunazini constituency, and close to relative of President of Zanzibar Dr Slamin Amour is the former opposition MP in the case which began last November on charges of sedition. Other MPs are Hamad Masoud (Ole), Soud Yussuf (Vitongoji) and Hamad Rashid (Wawi), CUF deputy secretary general, Nassor, Seif, is also facing similar charges. Duni appealed against yesterday along with 16 other accused persons when the case came up for mention.

Another Zanzibari opposition politician arrested
May 12, 1998 Published at 14:47 GMT 15:47
From the newsroom of the BBC World Service
Another member of the Zanzibari political opposition has been arrested and charged with treason. The politician, Juma Duni, who won a seat in a by-election last October, was denied bail when he appeared before a magistrate today. He's the seventeenth member of the opposition Civic United Front to face such charges. The government and opposition of Zanzibar -- a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania -- have been at loggerheads since presidential and legislative elections in 1995. The CUF, which campaigned for greater autonomy for Zanzibar in those elections, disputes the results.

Diplomat calls for more transparency in Tanzania
10:36 a.m. May 12, 1998 Eastern By Mark Dodd
DAR ES SALAAM, May 12 (Reuters)
Tanzania's nascent democracy leaves too much power with the executive arm of government, meaning many major business and investment deals are being approved without adequate parliamentary supervision, a senior Western diplomat said on Tuesday. ``The executive has far too strong a hold on power in this country and that's why there is so much economic mismanagement,'' said Peter Beck Christiansen, head of delegation to the European Commission in Tanzania. ``There are not enough checks and balances in the system,'' Christiansen said in an interview with Reuters. ``IPTL is a typical example.'' Donors complain that a $150 million power deal with Malaysian-backed Independent Power Tanzania Ltd. (IPTL) places an unacceptable burden on Tanzania's economy and was not reached in a transparent manner. The government plans to renegotiate the deal and is holding talks with IPTL starting on Thursday. The European Union is Tanzania's biggest non-loan aid provider, giving around 70 million Ecus ($77.5 million) in aid every year in budgetary support and to finance infrastructure and health projects. On top of that, the European Commission, the EU's executive, is in the final stage of negotiations with the government for an aid package worth 72 million Ecus for domestic debt relief, he said. It is due to be disbursed in three parts over 18 months between 1998 and 1999, he added. But Christiansen also warned Tanzania it could not expect aid programmes to continue without political progress. Under new criteria currently being ratified by the European Parliament, future EU aid will be conditional on Tanzania and other recipient countries achieving benchmarks on good governance, human rights and democratic development, he said. ``Next time around, any assistance will depend on effective anti-corruption measures running.'' Christiansen said one root of the poor economic management lay in Tanzania's constitution, which dates back to the period before opposition parties were legalised in 1992. ``The bottom line is there is far too much power in the hands of one party, the CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) and it (the constitution) needs to be changed,'' Christiansen said. ``But I think they are tackling it too late before the next elections.'' The Tanzanian government says it intends to revamp the country's constitution before elections due in 2000, but has poured cold water on opposition suggestions for a constitutional conference. One major problem will be to resolve the status of the semi-autonomous Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar, Christiansen said. Christiansen also called for more progress by the government in implementing the recommendations of the 1997 Wairoba Report on corruption. Although more than 1,000 mostly junior civil servants had been sacked for graft, Christiansen said: ``We (donors) want to see more big heads roll.'' He said the Commission gave full support to government moves to beef-up the Prevention of Corruption Board as a weapon to tackle increasing levels of graft in the country. Assessing the country's economic performance, Christiansen singled out the Tanzania Revenue Authority as doing a commendable job in broadening the revenue base and pursuing an efficient programme of revenue collection. However, faced with a drastic fall this year in its terms of trade, a result of the cumulative effects of flood and drought, Tanzania ought to be doing much more to attract foreign investment, Christiansen said. The World Bank said on Tuesday economic growth in Tanzania was expected to be around three percent in 1998, or close to zero in per capita terms as the country struggles to cope with the effects of unusual weather blamed on El Nino.
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.

Service Zanzibar court denies bail to treason suspects
11:43 a.m. Mar 31, 1998 Eastern ZANZIBAR, Tanzania, March 31 (Reuters)
A court in Tanzania's Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar denied bail on Tuesday to 16 suspects charged with treason for allegedly plotting to overthrow Zanzibar's president Salmin Amour.

Regional magistrate Jimmy Obeid rejected a request by defence counsel Nassor Khamis to have the case against the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) party activists dismissed. Prosecutor Patrick Biatao told the court his case could not start until suspects staying abroad were arrested and returned to Zanzibar. The case will resume on April 15.

The activists, who include two members of Zanzibar's parliament, were arrested after a by-election last November won by CUF. Zanzibar has faced political turmoil since October 1995 when Amour, of the ruling CCM party, was returned with a wafer-thin majority after an election count deemed highly suspect by diplomats and observers. CUF has refused to accept the result or sit in the island's parliament, while foreign missions have suspended new aid to Zanzibar.

Obeid told the packed court the defence had failed to make a convincing case that there was insufficient prosecution evidence to sustain the treason charge. ``I cannot set free the activists unless you prove your statement that the prosecutor has failed to come up with evidence,'' Obeid said in a ruling read on behalf of Magistrate Abraham Mwampashi.

Zanzibar's twin islands of Unguja and Pemba joined Tanganyika in 1964 to form Tanzania.

Zanzibar election Diary Oct.19-27,1995
back to Arai's Zanzibar Home page