E-mail from Anonymous Apr,8,1999

Norway Pegs Zanzibar Aid Resumption On Poll
April 9, 1999 By Joseph Kithama, Dar es Salaam

The Norwegian Government has relaxed its stand on the freezing of development aid to Zanzibar saying it will consider aid resumption to the Isles if next year's election is free and fair.

"We are willing to resume aid to Zanzibar as soon as they get over the political hurdle, most probably after the year 2000 election," the Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr. Nils Johan Jorgensen, said.

He said the political impasse in Zanzibar, between leaders of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), was a matter of concern and called on the parties "not to let the coming election be embroiled in fresh disputes."

The political impasse emerged soon after Tanzania's first multi-party election in 1995 when the CCM presidential candidate, Dr Salmin Amour, claimed a narrow win against CUF presidential candidate Seif Sharif Hamad. Mr. Hamad later claimed the election was rigged. Most independent observers said serious irregularities gave CCM a win in Zanzibar.

The political impasse has not been resolved to date even after interventions by Commonwealth Secretary General Chief Emeka Anyaoku.

Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa put a damper on Chief Anyaoku's initiative when he stressed that CUF must recognise the ruling party before a resolution could be reached.

CUF MPs have often boycotted sessions of the House of Representatives; 18 of its members, including four opposition MPs, are currently in police custody facing treason charges for allegedly plotting to overthrow the CCM government. They have been behind bars for 16 months now.

To protest Zanzibar's "flawed" election, Norway suspended an electrification project in 1995 in the twin Island of Pemba worth Nkr 70 million. Many of Tanzania's major donors followed suit.

The Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland and Sweden took the lead in suspending aid to the Zanzibar government of President Salmin Amour for violation of human rights.

Local observers and the international community are anxious about the forthcoming general election because although the Zanzibar constitution restricts presidential terms to two, there are unconfirmed reports that President Salmin Amour is planning to run for a third term.

Responding to a question from The EastAfrican regarding his intention to run for a third term, President Amour said: "If the people of Zanzibar want me to run for another (five-year) term, they will make it possible."

Mr. Jorgensen said a Tanzania Union delegation to consultation talks held on March 23 and 24 to review co-operation between Norway and Tanzania "was not specific" on whether the Commonwealth-brokered talks were still on.

Tanzania's deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Gray S. Mgonja, led the Tanzanian delegation while Ms Agnete Eriksen, the Director of the Norwegian Agency for International Co-operation (Norad) led the Norwegian side at the review meeting held in Dar-es Salaam.

Norway reiterated its protest over the arrest of the 18 CUF members saying the delay in administering justice to those arrested "puts the whole concept of rule of law in question," according to the ambassador.

Mr. Jorgensen said the Tanzania government declined to discuss the arrest of the 18 at the consultative meeting, saying it was a court matter.

Copyright 1999 The East African. Distributed via Africa News Online(www.africanews.org).

US Calls for Reconciliation to End Zanzibar Stalemate
March 22, 1999 By Asha Mnzavas Dar-es-Salaam
The US has asked Zanzibar to end the political impasse between the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi and the Civic United Front through reconciliation.

The call by the US ambassador to Tanzania, Rev Charles Stith, came barely a week after President Benjamin Mkapa ruled out reconciliation between CCM and CUF unless the latter publicly conceded that the 1995 presidential elections in the isles were won fairly by CCM. Rev Stith, who paid a courtesy call to President Amour last week, called for "a spirit of compromise and political dialogue" ahead of next year's elections.

He said it was time the island concentrated its efforts on economic growth instead of politics.

Said the ambassador: "The United States supports no particular party in Zanzibar, but it is concerned about the protection of the union, upholding the constitution, an honest political process and the just exercise of power."

There have been calls both in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania for either the establishment of a federal government or the creation of a unitary state instead of the current two-government union between Zanzibar and Tanzania.

There have been bitter exchanges in Zanzibar over the possible re-election of President Amour for a third term although the isles constitution limits presidential terms to two. CCM supporters have been calling for constitutional changes to allow President Amour to run for another term while others insist that the constitution should be respected.

The US call came a week after President Benjamin Mkapa's four-day tour of Zanzibar's twin island of Pemba, a CUF stronghold.

Mkapa's visit to Pemba had raised hopes that he would end the political standoff in the isles, now in its fourth year.

However, the president's tour turned out to be full of defiant speeches that ran contrary to the peace plan negotiated by Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku between President Salmin Amour and CUF Chairman Mr. Seif Shariff Hamad.

The 18-point Anyaoku peace plan states, among other things, that both CCM and CUF should refrain from uttering confrontational statements.

The document was expected to be signed by the Mr. Hamad and President Amour but the CCM central committee said the ruling party would not sign the document before analysing it.

Consequently, Chief Anyaoku, who was to witness the signing of the agreement, which was mediated on his behalf by his envoy, Dr Moses Anafu, suspended the mediation efforts indefinitely.

He said in a message faxed to the Tanzanian press last August that the mediation efforts would only resume if CCM declared its position. Mkapa's statements have dashed hopes of the peace agreement being signed to end the three-year boycott of the House of Representatives by CUF legislators, observers say. CUF's Mr. Hamad said President Mkapa's conditions to CUF were meant to derail the peace process.

"The last person I expected to make such confrontational remarks was the president. This is the man entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring Tanzania remains peaceful," he said.

Copyright 1999 The East African. Distributed via Africa NewsOnline(www.africanews.org).

Kenya, Tanzania Support McKinnon for Anyaoku's Post
March 19, 1999 By Joseph Kithama, Tanzania

Kenya and Tanzania have endorsed the candidature of the New Zealand Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Don McKinnon for the post of secretary-general in the November Commonwealth elections.

Mr. McKinnon, who was in Tanzania last week to seek support for the 54-nation organisation's top seat, said Kenya' President Daniel arap Moi and Tanzania's President Benjamin Mkapa had assured him of their support.

Although he had been to Kampala as well, Mr. McKinnon was not sure of President Yoweri Museveni's support. The incumbent Commonwealth secretary-general is Chief Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria, whose third term ends in November.

McKinnon, his long-serving deputy, is competing for the top post with a retired Bangladeshi diplomat, Mr. Faroog Sobhan. He said he was counting on the votes of African members of the Commonwealth, also known as the 'Club' to win the race.

On the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. McKinnon said: "Nobody can impose a solution that country - neither the UN nor the neighbouring countries."

He suggested a negotiated withdrawal of all foreign forces from Congo, warning that the sprawling Central African country was facing unacceptable balkanisation.

He promised to push for a breakthrough in the Zanzibar political impasse if elected.

Chief Anyaoku's attempts to make peace between the ruling in Chama Cha@Mapinduzi (CCM) and the Civic United Front (CUF) have been unsuccessful.

Mr. McKinnon said he had helped to resolve a 10-year conflict in Papua New Guinea, adding: "Maybe I was lucky that time, but I will always try to find a solution for Zanzibar".

The opposition Civic United Front which claims it was robbed of victory in the 1995 general election. CCM won the presidential election by a narrow margin in Zanzibar.

CUF has since refused to recognise the Isles' CCM government and its MPs@often boycott parliamentary sessions.

After attempts to reconcile the CUF and CCM leaderships failed, CCM@withdrew from reconciliation talks mediated by the Chief Anyaoku.

Mr. Mackinnon called for freedom of movement for limited periods among@Commonwealth member states.

Copyright 1999 The East African. Distributed via Africa News Online(www.africanews.org).

Third Term For Amour Is To Bring Back Sultanate
March 19, 1999 @By Salim Said Salum Zanzibar
Zanzibaris fear that their islands could become just another mainland region. Multi-party politics has divided Zanzibar into two warring camps. After nearly 30 years of single-party rule, the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) in 1993 found itself facing an opposition in the shape of the Civic United Front (CUF). CCM won the controversial 1995 Isles' presidential elections by a razor-thin margin of 0.5 per cent.

Ever since, Zanzibar politics has been consumed by mistrust, hatred, vicious machinations, exchanges of insults and deeply uncivilised behaviour in general. But the current debate on a Government White Paper on proposed changes to the Union Constitution has elicited a remarkable solidarity across party lines - it would appear to be the will of all Zanzibaris to hold on to their separate identity at all costs. The White Paper recommends 19 changes in the Union constitution, including giving more executive powers to the Union President, retaining the hated "Protective Detention Act" (which allows the president to detain citizens at will), granting the president powers to appoint some MPs and maintaining the two-government Union set-up (of Tanzania and Zanzibar), among other changes.

Meanwhile, numerous politicians and academicians suggested that the two-government set-up be replaced by a federal set-up comprising three governments: federal, Zanzibar and Tanganyika, and criticised mainland CCM politicians for suggesting the formation of a unitary government, accusing them of undermining Zanzibar's special status in the Union. Zanzibaris essentially fear that their islands could become just another mainland region. The mainland has 20 regions; quite a few are many times the size of Zanzibar in area and population. Zanzibar's population stands just over 800,000 as compared with 30 million on the mainland.

In more than four weeks of gathering views in the twin islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, most of the 40,000-plus people from all walks of life who appeared before the "White Paper Committee" took the opportunity to oppose the unitary government idea. "I am a Zanzibari first, a Tanzanian second and an African third," one old man in Pemba's Wete area told the committee. Another said that he had inherited Zanzibar from his parents and wanted to leave it to his grandchildren in an intact state.

But while most Zanzibaris aligned with the CCM camp prefer the present system of two governments, those in the opposition advocate a federal set up of three governments. The two camps are deeply divided on other issues, such as the powers of the president and his or her term of office. Most CCM members, especially the old guard, want the Tanzanian President to serve more than two terms in office. Political analysts feel this sentiment was expressed to justify the campaign to amend the constitution to allow a third term for Isles President Dr Salmin Amour, who will be constitutionally "time-barred" in the year 2000 after serving two five-year terms of office.

The opposition is naturally strongly opposed to any such move and has vowed not to allow it to go through the Zanzibar House of Representatives, saying that the days of kingdoms, sultanates and chieftaincies have gone forever.

The opposition feels that when retired Tanzanian president Mwalimu Julius Nyerere cautioned African politicians towards the end of last year not to play with constitutions in pursuit of their personal interests and dreams, he was referring to Dr Salmin Amour and Namibia's President Sam Nujoma. The two camps also differ widely on powers of the president, especially his powers of detention. The opposition points out that most of those detained under these powers in the past were prisoners of conscience, while supporters of Dr Amour argue that the president cannot misuse his powers because "he is the custodian of peace and tranquillity".

The two camps are therefore still set for a head-on collision when the proposed changes to the Isles Constitution are tabled in the Isles' House of Representatives, but what is certain is that however divided, the islanders are solidly united when it comes to Zanzibar's identity.

Salim Said Salum is a freelance journalist who has served as Press Secretary to Zanzibar Chief Minister Seif Shariff Hamad, now Chairman of CUF.
Copyright 1999 The East African. Distributed via Africa News Online(www.africanews.org).

Alert - Journalist banned from working in Zanzibar
March 11, 1999 Windhoek

The following document was released by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA): The Zanzibar Director of Information Services has banned a local freelance journalist, Mwinyi Sadallah, from working on the island.

Sadalla files stories for the mainland-based private news agency, Press Service Tanzania (PST). The Director, Hamid Makungu, said in a letter dated March 3 that his directorate was not ready to issue him with permission to work on the Island. The letter further said his directorate would consider his application when in his opinion Sadallah refrained from "inventing" stories and worked on the island according to "professional ethics".

According to the Zanzibari Newspaper Act of 1988 "The Director may, on receipt of an application made in that behalf and upon payment by the applicant of the prescribed fee (if any),issue to any person ......as it may consider fit in the authorization."

It also says "provided that the Director may, without assigning reasons therefor refuse to issue any authorization under this subsection or suspend or revoke any authorization issued by him."

Information distributed by: Raashied Galant, MISA Researcher, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Private Bag 13386, Windhoek, Namibia. Tel. +264 61 232975, Fax. 248016 e-mail: research@ingrid.misa.org.na web: http://www.misanet.org Distributed via Africa News Online(www.africanews.org). If this item is redistributed, published or used for broadcast, the content must not be changed and credit must by given to Media Institute of Southern Africa.

Call For Efforts To Tame Political Tension In Zanzibar
January 31, 1999 Ruth Nabakwe, PANA Correspondent PARIS, France (PANA)
Commonwealth Secretary General Emeka Anyaoku has called for more efforts by Tanzania's ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) to resolve the political impasse arising from the disputed 1995 general election results in Zanzibar.

Chief Anyaoku, who attended a Conference in Paris that ended Saturday in Paris to identify approaches to build a new vision of pluralism as a positive force, warned that existing tension in Zanzibar could intensify if the two dides stuck to their guns.

The Political impasse was created by CUF's rejection of the poll results which gave victory to Salmin amour as President of Zanzibar. CUF claimed its leader, Seif Shariff Hamad, had victory '' snatched''from him through fraudulent political manoeuvring .

In an interview with PANA in Paris, the Secretary-General called on the two sides to abide by the Commonwealth proposals in order to have an agreement signed. ''I am concerned that if the impasse is not resolved, chances of tensions in Zanzibar escalating to some form of conflict would be greater.'' In 1997, the Commonwealth Secretariat came in as mediators and the Organisation's Special Envoy Moses Anufu has visited the Tanzanian islands on a number of occasions in an attempt to achieve an accord .

One of the Commonwealth proposals was accepted by CUF, which dropped its major demand that President Salmin Amour should relinquish office by August 1998 to pave the way for the signing of an accord. The ruling - CCM abandoned its opposition to the idea of a constitutional review and electoral reforms but CUF of still does not recognise Salmin Amour as the legitimate President of Zanzibar.

Anyaoku said intransigence by the political parties concerned had resulted in the opposition party CUF boycotting Parliament in Zanzibar (House of Representatives). Tension has escalated in Zanzibar with Donor Countries suspending aid until human rights issues are respected.

Observers say that although tourism was picking up, it may be affected by the donor decision to suspend aid. Anyaoku stated that while the Commonwealth was still engaged in efforts to resolve the crisis, the disputing sides must show commitment to progress.

Copyright 1999 Panafrican News Agency.

Eastern Africa News, Jan 14,1999

The Zanzibar Revolutionary Government has lifted the bank on two daily Swahili tabloids, Majira and Mtanzania for allegedly writing seditious and false information. Announcing the lifting of the bank, president Salmin Amour said last year the two newspapers made significant positive changes in terms of professionalism. He said that previously the tabloids had emerged and taken the position of opposition parties disparaging whatever was being done by the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

Majira, which is published by Business Times Ltd was banned three years ago while Mtanzania published by Habari Corporation was banned a year go. On the political impasse on the Isles, the Zanzibar president said it was better for political parties to get prepared for the year 2000 elections rather than waiting for a compromise between CCM and opposition Civic United Front (CUF).

Eastern Africa News, Jan. 7
The much awaited preliminary inquiry into the 14-month-old Zanzibar treason case has been completed and hearing of the case against 18 Civic United Front (CUF) activists will begin on January 15.
This is according to the prosecutor, Patrick Biatao. He told the new magistrate, Mshibe Ali Bakari, Tuesday that he has been instructed by the attorney-general, Ali Mohammed Omar, to inform the court that the inquiry was ready and they would proceed with the case. Bakari replaces magistrate Abraham Mwampashi, who was last month rejected by the suspects who accused him of favouring the prosecution.
Last November, the court under Mwampashi gave the prosecution a 60-day deadline to complete investigations following complaints by the defence that the prosecution had "taken too long."

Zanzibar election Diary Oct.19-27,1995
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