CCM DRAGGING FEET ON ZANZIBAR POLITICAL IMPASSE
Eastern Africa News, Sep. 7
The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) is said to be foot-dragging over measures to resolve Zanzibar's political crisis.
Sources close to the Commonwealth envoy negotiating the Zanzibar political crisis said that the CCM leadership has not yet reported back to Dr Moses Anaf, the Commonwealth envoy, todate.
It said the Civic United Front leadership which started consultations with members in July has been reportedly on the progress to the reconciliation team ever since it started. CUF's vice-chairman, Seif Shariff Hamad questioned the election of Dr Salmin's to the presidency on the grounds that there was rigging. But both Dr Salmin and Hamad are said to have agreed in principle to bury their past differences over the matter.
The CUF met recently to endorse the normalisation process, but CCM said its executive organ would meet on Wednesday to deliberate on the matter, but would not give details.
About three years of political stalemate have clouded Zanzibar's politics, almost crippling the country's economy which had previously shown some signs of improvement with the advent of liberalsition.
CUF has also insisted that the issue of a coalition government was not in the recommendations the party forwarded to the Commonwealth secretary-general, chief Emeka Anyaoku, who is mediating in the political crisis on the isles.
The stand is contained in a 10-point statement issued by the CUF Vice-chairman, Seif Hamad yesterday in response to Saturday's speech delivered by the Zanzibar President, Dr Salmin Amour, who ruled out a coalition government between CCM and CUF.
In his statement, Hamad said that despite Dr Amour's remarks, CUF would be in a position to state its stand regarding the political impasse in Zanzibar after hearing from the Commonwealth Secretary-General on CCM's position.
"Until when the Commonwealth secretary general tells us that CCM has turned down the offer to compromise, only then will we really know CCM's stand and tell the citizens on what further steps we plan to take," Hamad said.
He called on CUF members to unite and refrain from being provoked into confrontation at what he described as a "critical moment for the future political situation in Zanzibar."
AMOUR ADMITS PRESENCE OF ANYAOKU TEAM
Eastern Africa News, August 20
The Zanzibar President, Dr Salmin Amour has finally admitted that a Commonwealth team is on the Isles working on an agreement involving the 34-month-old political stand-off between the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and opposition Civic United Front (CUF).
Dr Salmin admitted so yesterday when speaking on Zanzibar TV He said that the Commonwealth team was headed by Dr Moses Anafu, a special envoy of the Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku. He reiterated that there was no political crisis in Zanzibar, saying: "What was happening was that one party was protesting against the 1995 presidential election results and went to great length to trumpet its case.
"Let us hope that the Commonwealth proposals will lead us to a better election in year 2000 after shaping a political future of Zanzibar," Dr Salmin stated.
He maintained that the CCM's stand of not accepting a coalition government and power-sharing with CUF would remain and his party sees no way for creating conditions acceptable to the opposition as a deal. Dr Salmin said that CUF had done very well in the 1995 general elections, considering it was a new political party.
He said if he was a strategist for CUF, he would advise the opposition to strengthen their party for future elections. He also said that the recently banned Mtanzania newspaper has over stepped its boundaries. "It is just like a teacher canning a pupil. Not because the teacher hates the pupil, but he would like him to do the correct thing," Dr Salmin said.
CCM PARTY REJECTS FORMATION OF A FEDERAL GOVT
Eastern Africa News, August 17
The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party has categorically rejected formation of a federal government in Zanzibar as suggested by the opposition Civil United Front (CUF). Zanzibar reports say that CCM was also not prepared to share power and authority in ruling the Zanzibar government.
In a statement, the CCM special committee on Zanzibar commended CUF's
decision to declare publicly that it accepted and recognised the long-standing dispute over the Zanzibar presidential elections. The statement said this need not have taken three years to acknowledge. According to CCM deputy secretary general for Zanzibar Hassan Takrimu, CCM was studying the recently received document of proposals submitted by Commonwealth secretary general Chief Emeka Anyaoku.
Takrima said representatives from both parties had not meet to go through the proposals. However, it is understood that the final document containing details of the disputed issues and suggestions would be tabled before higher levels of the party for discussions and approval.
Zanzibar opposition blames govt for pact delay
10:40 a.m. Aug 13, 1998 Eastern
By Wambui Chege DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters)
Zanzibar's main opposition Civic United Front party on Thursday blamed the ruling party for a delay in signing a deal to end political deadlock on the Indian Ocean islands.
Muhammed Dedes, CUF commissar and adviser on foreign affairs, said a high-level party meeting last weekend endorsed a decision to sign an agreement prepared by Commonwealth special envoy Moses Anafu, who has been in Tanzania since June.
A tentative date for signing the agreement had been set for August 12. Zanzibar has faced political deadlock since Salmin Amour was narrowly elected in October 1995 for a second term as president of the islands, which form half of the Tanzanian union.
The CUF refused to accept the result and boycotted Zanzibar's legislative assembly, now dominated by Amour's Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.
Other countries have refused to grant new aid to the islands in protest against the election result and a wave of political repression against CUF supporters that followed.
``We communicated (to Anafu) that CUF is ready to reconcile with the government to restore the political life in Zanzibar to normal. We are ready any time to sign the agreement anywhere,'' Dedes said.
``Now it appears that CCM is sitting on the fence. They know the ball is in their court. It will be very unfortunate if anything changes now because we accepted CCM's terms.''
A senior Zanzibar government official said that despite the delay it was likely both sides would sign the agreement due to pressure from the international community and Tanzanian union President Benjamin Mkapa. The key point in the agreement would be the return of CUF to parliament, Dedes said.
The pact said nothing about CUF recognising Amour as president -- a demand CUF was willing to forgo, he added. ``The spirit of this agreement is reconciliation and reconstruction. We're willing to let bygones be bygones (and) keep aside CCM's and CUF's interests,'' Dedes said.
The Zanzibar government last month denied media reports it had reached an agreement with CUF.
Chief Minister Muhamed harib Bilal told the House of Representatives there was no desire to surrender the party's legitimate victory.
``The (Zanzibar) government has nothing to negotiate with CUF. The matter is now a party affair,'' Hafidh Ali, Amour's spokesman, told Reuters.
Political analysts said the return of the opposition CUF would mean the CCM no longer had the two-thirds majority required to amend the constitution.
This would effectively bar Amour from seeking a third term in the general election scheduled for 2000.
Zanzibar's twin islands joined Tanganyika in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Zanzibars opposition Civic United Front (CUF) party said on Thursday it had agreed to go back to parliament and would sign an agreement with the government next week. A senior CUF official at the party headquarters in the Tanzanian capital said the party was in the last stages of preparations for the agreement. All that remained was endorsement of the decision from the partys highest decision-making organ this weekend, said the official who declined to be named.
``As far as we are concerned, our position is that the date for signing the agreement has been set for the 12th of this month,'' the official said. ``The major point is that CUF will change its decision not to participate in parliament. (Now it will) return to parliament,'' the official added. Zanzibar has faced political deadlock since Salmin Amour was narrowly elected in October 1995 for a second term as president of the isles, which form half of the Tanzanian union. The CUF refused to accept the result and boycotted Zanzibars legislative assembly now dominated by the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Party of the Revolution-CCM) party of Amour.
The CUF official said the agreement said nothing on the issue of recognising Amour as president -- widely seen as key to resolving the crisis. But he said that, despite the agreement, the partys position on Amours presidency remained unchanged. ``CUF will never recognise Amour as president because of the massive rigging and tampering of results,'' the official said. The official said Commonwealth Secretary-General, Emeka Anyaoku, would attend Wednesdays signing ceremony. The Commonwealth special envoy to Zanzibar, Moses Anafu, has been in Tanzania since early June negotiating an agreement with the two sides that would seek an end to the crisis. Western diplomats in the Tanzanian capital said last week the two sides were close to a deal and an agreement would be signed on August 12. Political analysts said the return of the opposition CUF meant the ruling CCM party would no longer have the two-thirds majority required to amend the constitution.
This effectively bars incumbent Amour from seeking a third term in the next general election scheduled for 2000. The Zanzibar government last week denied press reports that it had reached an agreement with CUF. Zanzibars twin islands joined Tanganyika in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Commonwealth secretary-general Emeka Anyaoku is expected to visit Zanzibar in the next two weeks to witness the signing of a peace agreement to end the country's recent political troubles, the East African reported today. However, no date has been set.
The proposed visit follows a series of diplomatic missions to the country by chief Anyaoku's special envoy, Dr Moses Anafu,. The envoy has spent several months trying to stick together a package of proposals which could be accepted by both Zanzibar President Salmin Amour and Seif Sharif Hamad, the vice-president of the opposition Civic United Front.
Crucial to the draft Commonwealth agreement is the CUF's willingness to allow president Amour to continue in office until the next elections in the year 2000. The London-based newsletter Africa Analysis says in its latest edition published last week that it was this "major sticking point" in the earlier round of talks that "broke the impasse and allowed negotiations to proceed."
Other elements in the agreement include a review of Zanzibar's constitution
and its electoral laws, a reform of the composition and role of the electoral
commission and a revision of the voters register. It has also agreed that
in future, both political parties will desist from acts of political provocation
and that the CUF and the ruling CCM will have access to the government media.
THE Zanzibar political crisis seems to come to an end with news that the two parties concerned - the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and the main opposition party on the isles, Civic United Front (CUF) is ready to sign an agreement to end their feud.
The agreement comes after efforts by the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Chief Emeka Anyaoku to bring the two sides together. Mtanzania has reported that the agreement is expected to be signed next month after the arrival of Chief Anyaoku expected on the Isles in two weeks time. The paper quoted the African Analysis of London of July 24, this year, saying Chief Anyaoku’s representative in the Isles’ talks Dr. Moses Annaf said the Commonwealth Secretary General is to witness the signing of the agreement between the Zanzibar President Dr. Salmin Amour and the CUF Vice-chairman Seif Shariff Hamad.
The Zanzibar President, Dr. Salmin Amour, has brought 11 lawyers, four of whom are judges, to facilitate the hearing of treason charges against 18 people, most of them members of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), reports Nipashe.
The paper quoted a letter from the Zanzibar Attorney General, Mr. Ali Mohamed to a human rights organisation in the United States saying that the four judges will preside over the hearing of the treason trial.
DETAINED CUF LEADER PUBLISHES BOOK
Eastern Africa News, July 31,1998
Detailed Civic United Front (CUF) Member of House of Representatives for Mkunazini, Juma Duni Haji, has published a book entitled U-Africa au U-Zanzibar. The book is a review of an earlier publication by the Zanzibar deputy chief minister, Omar Ramadhan Mapuri, aimed at challenging what has been said as historical distortions in Mapuri's book.
Mapuri's book with the title Zanzibar 1964 Revolution Achievements and Prospects, published over a year ago, raised a storm of protest. At one public rally members of the CUF set it ablaze. The move was criticised by the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) as childish and uncalled for.
Some of CCM leaders and ministers went as far as challenging the opposition to come up with a reply to Mapuri's book. Duni's book is a section by section to answer to Mapuri's book. Duni has been in jail for the last four months charged with treason together with 17 other CUF leaders and members.
Duni argues in his book that the people of Zanzibar can only be termed as Zanzibaris and not Africans. "It is wrong to say Zanzibar people are Africans and stop there. Where do you place those with Arab, Goan and other descents?" asked the MP.
He also disputes Mapuri's assertion that Africans on the isles necessarily
originated from Tanganyika. "With that kind of thinking, it boils down
the belief that only Africans hailing from Tanganyika have the right to
rule these islands," he declares.
The Commonwealth special envoy to Zanzibar said on Thursday he had made significant progress towards resolving political deadlock on the Indian Ocean isles. ``I can say I am very optimistic. Considerable progress in the negotiations has been made, thanks to the flexibility and cooperation by both President Salmin Amour and (opposition leader) Seif Hamad,'' Moses Anafu, the Commonwealth secretary general's special envoy to Zanzibar told Reuters. ``Everyone's tired of this conflict and both parties want it to come to an end. Very soon,'' Anafu added. Zanzibar has faced political deadlock since Amour was narrowly elected in October 1995 for a second term as president of the isles, which form half the Tanzanian Union. The CUF opposition party refused to accept the result and boycotted Zanzibar's legislative assembly now dominated by the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Party of the Revolution-CCM) party of Amour. Foreign missions have since refused to grant new aid to the islands in protest at the result and at a wave of political repression against CUF supporters that followed. Anafu said a text containing proposals for an agreement was being considered by the two sides but declined to give more details. A western diplomat told Reuters that agreement on the text would mean CUF would return to parliament but would not have any seats in the cabinet. Political analysts said the return of the opposition CUF meant the ruling CCM party would no longer have the two-thirds majority required to amend the constitution. This effectively bars incumbent President Amour from seeking a third term in the next general election scheduled for the year 2000. The Zanzibar government this week denied press reports it had reached an agreement with CUF. Chief Minister Muhamed Gharib Bilal told the House of Representatives there was no desire to surrender its legitimate victory. Zanzibar's twin islands joined Tanganyika in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
ZANZIBAR "HIRED NIGERIAN JUDGES FOR TREASON CASE"
Eastern Africa News, July 28,1998
A team of Nigerian lawyers recently hired by the Zanzibar government was meant to handle the treason trial currently in the Isles' court, it has been learnt. According to a letter dated June 10,1998, addressed by the attorney-general of Zanzibar, Ali Omar to a human rights organisation in response to enquiries about the 18 persons in the treason trial.
All the accused belong to the opposition Civic United Front (CUF). The
attoney-general reportedly wrote that the move was aimed at ensuring a fair
trial for the accused in the case which is still in its preliminary investigations
after eight months.
"They are here to ensure that the conduct of this case is done exclusively by them so that we, local officials of Zanzibar, could breath a little,the latter stated.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General's special envoy to Zanzibar has returned
to Tanzania in a bid to end the political deadlock facing the semi-autonomous
islands. ``This visit is a follow-up to my first visit in April this year.
I have already met with (Zanzibar) President Salmin Amour,'' envoy Moses
Anafu told Reuters on Tuesday. Zanzibar has faced political deadlock since
Amour's narrow re-election as president of the Indian Ocean islands in October
1995. The Zanzibar opposition Civic United Front (CUF) party refused to
accept the result and boycotted the islands' legislative assembly now dominated
by the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Party of the Revolution-CCM) party of Amour.
Foreign missions have since refused to grant new aid to the islands saying
the result was highly suspect. CUF's most prominent leader, party vice-chairman
Seif Shariff Hamad, told Reuters his team would meet Anafu later this week.
Amour defeated Hamad in the elections. ``Our demands have not changed. We
think the president of Zanzibar was not elected and this must be corrected.
Then we go forward,'' Hamad added. Fresh elections are scheduled for 2000.
Last week Hamad was questioned at the Criminal Investigations Department
about government documents found with two of his aides eight months ago.
Four CUF house representives are among the 18 accused persons in an eight-month
treason trial which has attracted the interest of the international community.
Zanzibar's twin islands of Unguja and Pemba joined with Tanganyika in 1964
to form the United Republic of Tanzania.