Thursday, 27 June 2019

Sunday, 9 June 2019

This is how our revolution in Egypt failed. Sudan, please be warned.

After Egypt’s 2011 revolution, the military soon acted to retake power. Today, Sudan’s military is behaving and talking in the exact same way. 

Sudan revolution: In 2011, mass protests led to the downfall of President Mubarak. In 2013, the military retook power in a coup. Credit: Gigi Ibrahim.
In 2011, mass protests led to the downfall of President Mubarak. In 2013, the military retook power in a coup. Credit: Gigi Ibrahim.
A revolution is like a train journey. As such, you need to make sure not to get off too early or at the wrong stop. And you cannot afford to allow the military, who might crash or throw you off before you reach your destination, to take over.
Sudan’s revolutionary train journey began on 19 December 2018 with enormous demonstrations across towns and cities. The people protested against the economic crisis and called for President Omar al-Bashir to step down after nearly 30 years in power.
The demonstrators arrived at their next significant stop on 11 April with the removal of al-Bashir. That was also, however, when the military council boarded the train and the last two months have seen the civilian movement and Transitional Military Council (TMC), who ousted al-Bashir, wrestle for control of the tottering vehicle.
This week, after months of peaceful demonstrations and negotiations over the form the democratic transition should take, the military turned on the demonstrators. They stormed the main protest camps in Khartoum with soldiers killing at least 60 people, according to the latest estimates. The TMC scrapped all previous agreements made with the opposition Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) and announced that elections will be held within nine months.

Guardians of the revolution”?

For those of us who took part in Egypt’s revolution in 2011, events in Sudan look all too familiar. For me, this week’s violence is particularly reminiscent of the Rabaa massacre of August 2013. In that event, Egypt’s military and security forces raided two protest camps and attacked opposition demonstrations, killing more than 800 people in one day.
That massacre occurred two months after the military overthrew Egypt’s first elected president. Now, two months after al-Bashir’s departure, Sudan’s own military council appears to be reading from the same manifesto as their Egyptian counterparts.
In Egypt, our military leaders repeatedly told us they were the guardians of the revolution and their only aim was to protect the state against instability. They insisted that they had no appetite for power. General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who led the coup, has reasserted this claim many times ever since, despite recently changing the constitution in ways that consolidate the military’s power and allow him to rule until 2030.
These exact same arguments are being made by Sudan’s military leaders now. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the TMC, and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (aka “Hemedti”), have similarly talked of themselves as protectors of the revolution and insisted that they want to eventually see a civilian state.
When you hear this, our advice from Egypt is to be warned. Whatever they might say, these military leaders have no intention of allowing civilians to govern Sudan. They are planning to take full power soon and, just like in Egypt, proceed to repress every single type of opposition.

Testing the international community

In Egypt, the military bided their time from the 2011 revolution to their coup in 2013. In that period, they tried to maximise the role of the army in the new government while spreading rumours about their political opponents. They issued propaganda painting the military as Egypt’s last hope, a belief that eventually made it easier for them to overthrow the government and take power.
Sudan’s military council today are giving the same ridiculous speeches almost verbatim in an attempt to discredit their opponents. “The demonstrations threaten our state”; “the leaders of the demonstration are agents of foreign intelligence”; “enough is enough, we have to remove this demonstration camp from the streets for the sake of other people”. These quotes could as easily be from Egyptian as Sudanese military leaders.
More worryingly, it was not just through words that Egypt’s army prepared to tighten their grip on power. Before the Rabaa massacre,  security forces used violence on smaller scales, almost as a way to test the reactions of the people and the international community. They killed more than 50 people protesting the coup on 8 July 2013, then killed more than 150 people a few weeks later. The reaction domestically and internationally was muted. The Rabaa massacre happened the next month.
As soldiers believed to be from the influential paramilitary known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) storm demonstration camps in Sudan, it seems like this may also be a test. The TMC will be waiting to see the reactions from the likes of the UN, the African Union and Western partners and if any meaningful action will follow.
But it is not just these foreign bodies that the TMC will be keeping an eye on. In Egypt, President Sisi repeatedly thanked Saudi Arabia and the UAE for supporting him from day one. Going from audio which I myself leaked before having to flee Egypt, it came to light that these Gulf countries gave the Egyptian military over $40 billion to face down the opposition and Muslim Brotherhood.
It is therefore very unsettling to find out that in the last three weeks, members of Sudan’s military council have been visiting Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE too. Some of these trips took place just days before they attacked demonstrators and their camps.

Dealing with the military

Arguably, the most critical aspect of any revolution is the unity of the movement. This is essential in upholding the people’s demands and counteracting the power of a self-interested military. In Egypt sadly, different factions fell out and the relationship with the military council changed several times. This allowed the army to take advantage and, later, kill or arrest anyone who opposed them.
In Sudan, the Forces of Freedom and Change have faced a similar dilemma. They first tried to negotiate with the military, but the TMC has rewarded them by cancelling all agreements, attacking protesters, and throwing around false accusations. The protest organisers, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), have now called for a campaign of mass civil disobedience.
In the coming days, the movement will face several difficult decisions. The revolutionary train is in danger of being completely hijacked and going somewhere none of the protesters want to go. If there is one lesson Egypt’s failed revolution can offer at this critical junction, it is this: Whatever they may say, do not trust the military or their self-serving foreign allies.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

South Africa election shakes major parties but little more

Why has the ANC lost support?

Young people queuing to vote spoke of their difficulties in finding jobs.
One young voter said her future employment prospects were on her mind. "I don't feel confident about getting the job I want," she said.
"I'm a member of the ANC, but I didn't vote for them this time," construction worker Thabo Makhene told Reuters news agency. "They need to catch a wake-up. The way they run the state, mishandling state funds, they've lost their morals."

An ANC rally in Port Elizabeth ahead of the 8 May 2019 election. Credit: Martin Plaut.

The results from the 8 May general elections suggest the ruling ANC and main opposition DA retain widespread, if reluctant, support.

Night falls on Voting Day in South Africa's 8 May general elections. Credit: Martin Plaut.
South Africa results: Night falls on Voting Day in South Africa’s 8 May general elections. Credit: Martin Plaut.
Khayelitsha is the sort of place tourists seldom visit, perhaps accelerating a little nervously to get past it on to the famed vineyards and classy restaurants that lie just outside of Cape Town in South Africa. It’s a pity.
Set just beyond the Cape Town airport, Khayelitsha it is home to over 400,000 people. It is a “township” in South African parlance, where mostly black Africans live, packed in between the main road and the sea. Much of it consists of small, official housing with the edges still made up of shanties (or “informal housing” as they are politely termed).
In reality, this is the city of Cape Town’s other half, the place where most black people arrive when they take the plunge and leave the poverty and corruption of the Eastern Cape in search for a job. But far from being a place of despair it is a lively place, where people jostle for space. Cows’ heads and chicken feet are barbequed by the side of the road. Unofficial workshops spring up, making everything from furniture to window frames. Khayelitsha is a pulsating, noisy suburb that seldom sleeps.
I was here during the last election in 2014. Politically a lot has changed since then. This was once a stronghold of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). When I drove around it five years ago, the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) had few if any posters up on the lamp posts. Those that had been put up had been torn down and lay on the streets, stamped on.
In 2019 by contrast, they could be seen in almost equal numbers as the ANC’s. DA volunteers sat at every polling station; their t-shirts are worn as indiscriminately as those of every other party.
With the DA’s normalisation here, however, the party has lost something of its cutting edge. It is no longer an insurgent party and the results of the 8 May election perhaps reflect this. Although it may take another day before the full results are verified, over 80% of results have been declared and assuming no last-minute major shift, the parties know how they have done.
The ANC of President Cyril Ramaphosa has 57% of the vote (down 5% on 2014); the DA has 22% (perhaps 0.5% down on 2014); and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of Julius Malema has 10% (up 4% from 2014). The ANC will run the country and be the largest party in the key province of Gauteng in which Johannesburg is situated. The DA still holds the Western Cape and its stronghold of Cape Town.  The EFF can celebrate its increasing support and the fact that it is the main challenger in three provinces: North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
EFF supporters by party posters. Credit: Martin Plaut.
EFF supporters by party posters. Credit: Martin Plaut.
For President Ramaphosa, the result must come as a considerable relief. There had been talk that, following the scandals associated with his predecessor President Jacob Zuma, the party’s support might ebb away. Some quietly made predictions the ANC would get just 40%. But Ramaphosa, the darling of financial markets both in South Africa and abroad, has steadied the ship. He must now face the enormous task of reform.
In his massive final election rally, the president promised to keep anyone tainted by corruption out of his government. “Those will not be allowed to occupy positions of responsibility either in the ANC, in Parliament or in government,” he declared. How he will deliver on this promise is difficult to fathom given his very narrow majority within the ANC.
For Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the official opposition, the issue is rather different. The DA, which some believed was gradually emerging as a potential party of government, has ceased to grow. The party’s members are becoming restless and internal divisions are regularly reported in the media. In part, this is because the DA is at something of a crossroads. Should it continue to try to grow as the only significant party that appeals to all ethnic groups (something the ANC has long since ceased to do) or should Maimane seek to win over the growing black middle-class?
The DA’s attempts to woo black voters previously seemed to mean endorsing the government’s policies of black empowerment. This stance was dropped in February, but where exactly that left the opposition was unclear. “The party has not decided to move away from race-based redress policies, however, we unequivocally reject the ANC’s version of redress which operates to enrich and re-enrich the connected elite,” said Maimane. This satisfied neither constituency and led to further internal ructions.
The EFF is not the only party to have benefitted from this confusion. The right-wing white party Freedom Front Plus increased its support to 2.5% of the vote. With its slogan “Fight Back”, it appealed mainly to white Afrikaners who had previously seen the DA as their political home. The only other party to really put on votes is the mainly Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party, which is the official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal.
The vast majority of the smaller political parties received so little backing they will not be represented in parliament. This includes some parties that are regularly featured in the international media. Andile Mngxitama, whose party – Black First, Land First – demanded that black people should control all the land of South Africa received almost negligible support with just 0.1% of all votes.
ANC supporters dance on Election Day in Khayelitsha. Credit: Martin Plaut.
ANC supporters dance on Election Day in Khayelitsha. Credit: Martin Plaut.
South Africa’s just-concluded elections have shaken the larger parties without really eroding their positions. The ANC, with a century of fighting for black rights, still has huge – if somewhat reluctant – support.
There is at least one front, however, on which the ANC retains a clear lead. Its songs, drawn from its long years fighting apartheid, are way ahead. “The DA sent us CDs to play, but their music was terrible,” a DA activist admitted to me. By contrast, ANC supporters danced and sang outside the polling booths as night fell on voting day. In some areas, this arguably came close to intimidation since they were right next to the queues of voters still waiting to cast their votes.
Janet Love, the Independent Election Commissioner, went on the radio in the week running up to the election, explaining that marches and demonstrations on Election Day were expressly forbidden. I tweeted a video showing just such a demonstration. Beatie Hofmeyr, the ANC’s representative with the Commission (and someone I went knew at university many years ago) replied that it’s not illegal. “Campaigning is allowed but not inside border of station which is fenced around in most cases,” she said. She claims only marches and public rallies are banned.

Embedded video

Illegal demonstration by ANC on Election Day outside a voting station Khayelitsha Cape Town
It’s a fine line. During the 2014 election I witnessed ANC activities which clearly went beyond it: trucks with speakers, hammering out slogans and songs, with hundreds following on behind. I witnessed none of this in Khayelitsha this year: perhaps the squalls of rain deterred such activities.
Overall, South Africa’s elections are well run and pass the “free and fair” test. Ballots may occasionally run out; some people voted more than once. But the 2019 election was – in my view – an accurate reflection of what the population made of their rulers. In the end, the voters gave them their support, a little reluctantly and nowhere near as enthusiastically as back in 1994. A quarter century of ANC rule has eroded the party’s standing, but it has not disappeared.
Radical EFF gains support 

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which wants to seize white-owned land without compensation and nationalise the huge mining industry, was one of the fastest-growing parties at this election, increasing its share of the vote from 6% to 10%. Crucially, it has also become the official opposition in three provinces.
The EFF, with its "no-nonsense" leader Julius Malema, always talks a big game. On the campaign trail, representatives called themselves "the government-in-waiting".

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party leader Julius Malema walks away after casting his vote at a polling station in the Sheshego township on the outskirts of Polokwane on 8 May 2019.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Julius Malema's EFF party increased its share of the vote to 10%

They are of course nowhere near that, judging by the huge margin between the EFF's support base and that of the ANC.
But undeniably the EFF's message of being a party for the poor and working class has resonated, and it has found a support base with the disgruntled.The party has been accused of populism and divisive rhetoric by the more moderate parties in South Africa, so it will be interesting to see how the EFF maintains its support base over the next five years.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Sudan sit-in: How protesters picked a spot

Sudan sit-in: Protesters in Khartoum stop demonstrating to watch the Barcelona-Manchester United match.

For over three weeks, protesters have transformed the space outside the military HQ and made it a microcosm of the future they want. 

Where there is revolution, there’s a central gathering point – just think of Egypt’s Tahrir SquareTaksim Squarein Istanbul, and Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunisia. They all captured the world’s imagination as places where the power of the masses couldn’t be ignored.As an architect who studies urban public spaces, and as a Sudanese, I have wondered since December 2018 – when protesters rose up against Omar al-Bashir’s regime – which space would become Khartoum’s equivalent of Tahrir Square. Which of the Sudanese capital city’s public spaces would hold similar symbolism?
Some open areas in Khartoum, such as Al Saha Al Ghadraa, have historical links to the al-Bashir regime and would not have been acceptable to the protesters. Others would hold immense symbolic value, but would raise questions about links to specific political parties. Buildings of significance, such as the parliament in Omdurman, don’t offer a public square in the true sense of the word, and so would not be an appropriate gathering space.
The answer emerged on 6 April 2019. Hundreds of thousands of people marched to the Sudanese Army’s headquarters in the Ministry of Defence’s complex. That march evolved into a multi-day sit-in. Weeks later, and with al-Bashir ousted, the sit-in continues.
It’s a powerful, significant choice of venue. First, the army headquarters are usually off-limits. Photography is not permitted and access is restricted. Yet the army permitted a massive gathering on its doorstep. Second, the army actually went on to actively defend the protesters against attacks by the National Intelligence and Security forces. The venue offered protection and security.
Finally, it was a symbolic choice: the protesters knew that army collaboration would be crucial to achieve a transitional government.All of this echoes what research and history have repeatedly shown. Urban public spaces may be built to represent governments, but they are often appropriated by citizens and become sites of protest. The space in Sudan has not been a gathering place before, and the roads that surround the complex actually hold no special characteristics spatially or architecturally. Yet they have been appropriated – and they have come to serve the protesters’ purpose well.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Masauni amelewa pombe gani?

See the source image
Kijijini kwetu alikuwepo mzee mmoja ambaye alikuwa maarufu sana.  Miongoni mwa mambo yaliyompa umaarufu ni jinsi alivyokuwa mweledi katika elimu ya dini ya Kiislamu kiasi cha kuwafundisha baadhi ya aalim wakubwa katika kijiji hicho.  Pamoja na taaluma aliyokuwa nayo, alikuwa mpenzi mkubwa wa pombe.  Kwa ufupi alikuwa mlevi, unaweza kusema wa kupindukia.
Katika sikukuu moja ya Eid-ul-Fitri majira ya laasiri akiwa ameshauchapa ulevi hajiwezi, akitembea kwa shida, alikutana na watu wakiwa wamebeba jeneza wakielekea makaburini kuzika.  Aliwaangalia kama vile ni jambo geni kwake, kisha akasema: “Jamani watu wengine nao hawachagui hata siku ya kufa? Inakuwaje leo siku ya sikukuu mtu unakwenda kujifia? Siku ya furaha unaigeuza ya msiba.” Maneno yake hayo yakawa gumzo kubwa kijijini.

Siku ya pili watu kadhaa walimfuata kumuwaidhi kwamba sasa pombe inampeleka kubaya mpaka anafanya utani na kudura za Allah. Miongoni wa waliomfuata ni sahibu yake wa karibu sana ambaye alimueleza: “Sahibu yangu sasa pombe inakumaliza. Mimi ninajua miaka yote unalewa, lakini hivi vituko vyako vya jana naona ulevi unakumaliza!” Na yeye mwenyewe akamjibu kwa upole: “Ni kweli unayosema. Hata mimi najiuliza sijui jana nililewa pombe gani. Lakini kila lenye mwanzo lina mwisho. Mimi kuanzia leo nnaweka nia ya kuacha ulevi!”  Na kweli, baada ya muda aliwacha kabisa pombe, akafanya kazi ya ualimu na mtu wa kushikamana na dini.
Maelezo aliyoyatoa Naibu Waziri wa Mambo ya Ndani Hamad Masauni wiki chache zilizopita katika Bunge la Jamhuri ya Muungano kuhusiana, pamoja na mambo mengine, masheikh wa Zanzibar waliopo mahabusu katika gereza la Ukonga Dar es Salaam yamenikumbusha kisa hicho nilichokieleza hapo juu.  Nimejiuliza peke yangu, nikaona haitoshi, niulize na wenzangu akiwemo na yeye mwenyewe, hivi amelewa pombe gani iliyompelekea aeleze mambo ambayo hata mtoto mdogo anaweza kubaini kwamba ni ya kuhandisiwa?
Napenda nieleze kwa ufupi kwa nini nimejiuliza Masauni amelewa pombe gani. Ndani ya bunge kumekuwa kukitolewa maelezo kuhusiana na kadhia ya masheikh hao na baadhi ya mawaziri ambayo ni ya kusikitisha; mengine ya uongo wa wazi na mengine ya ubabaishaji wa kupindukia. Nimewahi kuona Mwigulu Nchemba akitoa maelezo ya ubabaishaji Bungeni kuhusiana na kadhia ya masheikh wakati akijibu suali la Mheshimiwa Dkt. Suleiman Ali Yussuf. Aidha, nimewahi kushuhudia mwalimu wangu, Profesa Palamagamba Kabudi, akifanya siasa bungeni kwa kupitia haki za raia hao ambao hadi sasa hawana hatia.  Lakini, maelezo ya Masauni kwa hakika yaliniuma sana kiasi cha kunisukuma kuandika ukweli ninaoufahamu katika kadhia hiyo. Imeniuma kwa vile alitoa maelezo akiwa amejitanda kilemba cha uumini na kupenda uadilifu. Kupenda uadilifu ni kitu chema sana, lakini kuna msemo wa wanafalsafa unaosema “The principle of being principled is to be principled.” Kwa ufupi huwezi kuwa muadilifu nusu nusu. Ukiamua kujinasibisha na uadilifu, lazima uonekane au angalau ufanane na uadilifu.
Masheikh Kukamatwa na Kusafirishwa Tanzania Bara
Wakati masheikh hao walipokamatwa, Rais wa Zanzibar Dkt. Ali Mohamed Shein alikuwa katika safari ya kikazi katika visiwa vya Samoa. Dkt. John Pombe Magufuli, nadhani, wakati huo hakuwa ameanza hata mchakato wa kugombea urais au hata fikra ya kugombea nafasi hiyo. Mhandisi Hamad Masauni yeye alikuwa mbunge wa kawaida, sidhani kama alishaanza kuwa na ndoto ya kuwa naibu waziri.  Mimi wakati huo nilikua Mwanasheria Mkuu wa Serikali, Zanzibar.
Masheikh wa Uamsho wakipandishwa gari la polisi kutoka mahakamani Zanzibar
Siku ya pili tu tokea kukamatwa masheikh hao usiku mkubwa na asubuhi wakasafirishwa kupelekwa Dar es Salaam, baadhi ya wazazi na jamaa wa masheikh hao walinifuata ofisini; wake kwa waume. Kilikuwa kikundi kikubwa kwa kweli. Mmoja kati ya hao alikuwa mke wa mmoja wa wahusika na mmoja ni mama mzazi wa mmoja wa wahusika. Maelezo yao jinsi ya walivyokamatwa yalikuwa ya kusikitisha sana. Niliwaahidi kwamba nitafuatilia kwa haraka suala la kusafirishwa kwao kupelekwa Dar es Salaam, kwani ninahisi haikuwa sawa kisheria. Siku hiyo hiyo niliomba kuonana na Makamo wa Pili wa Rais, Balozi Seif Ali Iddi, na nilipata miadi ya kuonana naye siku ya pili asubuhi.
Nilipokutana na Makamo wa Pili wa Rais nilimweleza kwamba, suala la watu kukamatwa ni jambo la kawaida na ndio kazi ya polisi kama wanatuhumu mtu ametenda kosa la jinai. Hata hivyo, sababu ya kuonana naye ni kueleza maoni yangu ya kisheria juu ya uharamu wa kitendo cha kuwasafirisha kwenda Dar es Salaam chini ya Katiba ya Zanzibar na Sheria. Nilimpa mfano wa kadhia ya watu waliokamatwa Zanzibar kwa tuhuma za uchochezi kwa kutangaza kutaka Pemba ijitenge. Wahusika hao walipokamatwa, Rais Amani Karume alikuwa katika ziara ya kikazi nchini Marekani, lakini aliporudi tu siku ya pili akamuita Mwanasheria Mkuu, Mheshimiwa Idi Pandu, na mimi binafisi nikiwa Mkurugenzi wa Mashtaka, na kutuhoji kwa nini tuliruhusu watu hao wasafirishwe kupelekwa Dar es Salaam kwa tuhuma za kosa lililotokea Zanzibar. Nakumbuka alihoji: “Hivi hao watu kama wamesema, si wajibiwe tu? Na kama ni lazima wakamatwe na kuhojiwa, hivi Zanzibar hapana Serikali, hapana Mwendesha Mashtaka, hapana Mahkama?” Baada ya kumjibu kwamba watu wamekamatwa na kusafirishwa bila ya sisi kushauriwa, alimwita Kamishna wa Polisi naye baada ya kumhoji akampa amri watu hao warejeshwe Zanzibar haraka na kama wana tuhuma zozote waje washtakiwe Zanzibar.  Baada ya siku mbili watu hao wakarejeshwa Zanzibar.
Aidha, nilimweleza Makamo wa Pili wa Rais msimamo wa kisheria uliotolewa na Mahkama Kuu ya Zanzibar chini ya wakati huo Jaji Mkuu Augustino Ramadhani na pia Mahkama ya Rufaa ya Tanzania ambapo Mahkama hiyo ilielekeza wazi kuwa mtu anapotuhumiwa kwa kosa lolote lililotendeka Zanzibar, hata kama kosa hilo ni chini ya Sheria ya Muungano, basi lazima ashtakiwe na mamlaka ya mashtaka ya Zanzibar, katika Mahkama ya Zanzibar na kwa kutumia sheria za nyendo za jinai za Zanzibar. Baada ya kumueleza hivyo aliahidi atalifatilia kwa Kamishna wa Polisi Zanzibar.
Kilichonishangaza sana ni kwamba wakati Dkt. Shein aliporudi kutoka safari, alituita mimi nikiwa Mwanasheria Mkuu na Mkurugenzi wa Mashtaka, Bwana Ibrahim Mzee, tukiwa pamoja na Makamo wa Pili wa Rais. Miongoni mwa mambo aliyotuarifu ni kwamba Jeshi la Polisi wanataka tutowe wanasheria wa Serikali kutoka ofisi zetu mbili waende Dar es Salaam wakashirikiane nao kuwahoji watuhumiwa kwa vile wanasheria wa Zanzibar wanazielewa vizuri zaidi sheria za Zanzibar.

Mimi nilitangulia kumueleza kwamba: “Kabla hujarudi safari, nilionana na Makamo wa Pili na kumpa ushauri wangu wa kisheria kuhusu kadhia hiyo na nilimueleza kwa kina msimamo wa kisheria na kwamba kusafirishwa watu hao na kwenda kuhojiwa na kushitakiwa Dar es Salaam ni haramu!” Ilionesha dhahiri kwamba hakuwa amearifiwa kabla juu ya ushauri huo. Nilimalizia kwa kumwambia kwamba: “Kwa vile suala hilo si halali, nikitowa wanasheria kufanya kazi hiyo, nitakuwa ninabariki kitu batili!” Naye Mkurugenzi wa Mashtaka akatoa maelezo nadhani fasaha zaidi ya kuunga mkono kwamba suala hilo lilikuwa batili na si vyema kwa wanasheria wa Serikali kutumika kubariki batili hiyo.
Rai iliyotolewa ni kuwa Makamo wa Pili aitishe kikao cha vyombo vya ulinzi vinavyohusika na kadhia hiyo ili kupata muafaka. Siku ya pili tukaonana na vyombo husika chini ya uenyekiti wa Makamo wa Pili wa Rais. Si vyema kueleza kwa urefu yaliyojiri katika kikao kile lakini inatosha kusema kwamba hatimaye angalau mmoja wa maofisa waandamizi wa Tanzania Bara aliyepigiwa simu tukiwa katika kikao kile alikiri kwamba hata wao wanafahamu kwamba hilo jambo lina matatizo ya kisheria, lakini kwa sasa wanachotaka ni kupata ukweli wa tuhuma hizo na ndio maana wakaomba msaada wa wanasheria wa Serikali kutoka Zanzibar. Baada ya maelezo hayo, busara iliyotoka ni kuwa wanasheria wa Ofisi ya Mkurugenzi wa Mashtaka waende Dar es Salaam kama ilivyoombwa kwa vile Ofisi hiyo ndiyo inayohusika na mashtaka na sio Ofisi ya Mwanasheria Mkuu. Siwezi kuyasema yale wanasheria hao walioenda Dar waliyoeleza baada ya kurudi safari hiyo, lakini naamini Bwana Masauni kama ana nia ya dhati ya kutafuta ukweli atawatafuta wanasheria hao kwa vile bado wapo.
Katika maelezo yake, Bwana Masauni anasema kwamba amejiridhisha kuwa Serikali imesimamia suala hili kwa uadilifu na kama angelihisi haisimamii kwa uadilifu, angejiuzulu na akaungana na wale wanaohoji kadhia hiyo. Suala langu ni kwamba hivi Serikali inaposhauriwa na Mwanasheria Mkuu ambaye, chini ya Kifungu cha 20(1) cha Sheria Namba 6 ya 2013, ushauri wake wa kisheria ndio msimamo rasmi wa kisheria wa Serikali isipokuwa kama Rais atatoa maelekezo tofauti au utenguliwe na Mahkama, na ikaenda kinyume na ushauri huo, huo ndio uadilifu? Mbali ya ushauri wa Mwanasheria Mkuu, katika masuala ya kesi za jinai, Serikali inapokwenda kinyume na ushauri wa Mkurugenzi wa Mashtaka, nao huo ndio uadilifu anaouzungumzia Bwana Masauni?
Msimamo wa Kisheria
Katika mfumo wa kikatiba wa Jamhuri ya Muungano, masuala ya Mahkama na usimamizi wa sheria si suala la Muungano. Kilichokuwa cha Muungano ni Mahkama ya Rufaa pekee. Kwa hivyo, hadi katika ngazi ya Mahkama Kuu, hakuna Mahkama ya Jamhuri ya Muungano bali Mahkama ya Tanzania Bara au Mahkama ya Zanzibar. Na katika hilo, ndio maana Mahkama Kuu ya Zanzibar na Mahkama Kuu ya Tanzania Bara zina mamlaka sawa [concurrent jurisdiction].
Rais mstaafu wa Zanzibar, Amani Karume (kushoto), alikataa Wazanzibari waliotuhumiwa kufanya makosa Zanzibar kupelekwa Bara kwa mashitaka.
Katika Sheria ya Jinai, jambo moja lililowekewa ufafanuzi mzuri ni juu ya upeo wa mashtaka na mamlaka ya kushtaki. Tulizoea kukariri kwa moyo kutokana na umuhimu wake kifungu kinachoeleza ni wapi mtu atashtakiwa kwa kosa alilotenda. Kwa upande wa Zanzibar, kwa mfano, mtu atashtakiwa katika Mahkama za Zanzibar endapo viini vyote vya kosa [elements of the offence] vimefanyika Zanzibar au katika bahari kuu ambayo Zanzibar ina mamlaka nayo chini ya sheria za kimataifa. Aidha, anaweza kushtakiwa Zanzibar endapo baadhi ya viini vya kosa vimetokea nje ya Zanzibar lakini baadhi ya viini vya kosa vimetokea ndani ya Zanzibar. Kwa ufupi, ili mtu ashtakiwe Zanzibar ni lazima kuwe na uhusiano wa kosa hilo na Zanzibar. Hali ni hivyo hivyo kwa sheria za jinai za Tanzania Bara.
Hata hivyo, suala ambalo muda mrefu lilikuwa na utatanishi ni: jee, Mahkama Kuu ya Zanzibar inao uwezo wa kusimamia sheria zilizotungwa na Bunge la Muungano? Mahkama Kuu ya Zanzibar katika kesi kadhaa imewahi kutowa ufafanuzi wa suala hilo. Katika kesi ya Himid Mbaye v. The Brigade Commander of Nyuki Brigade ya 1982, Mahkama Kuu ilieleza kwamba pamoja na kwamba Kamanda huyo ni ofisa wa Muungano, lakini kwa vile amefunguliwa madai Zanzibar lazima ashtakiwe Zanzibar kwa kufuata sheria ya Nyendo za Madai Zanzibar na hivyo haihitajiki kupata ridhaa ya Waziri wa Sheria wa Serikali ya Muungano bali Waziri huyo apewe taarifa ya siku 60 kama inavyoeleza sheria ya Zanzibar ya nyendo za madai. Mahakama Kuu pia iliwahi kutoa msimamo unaofanana na huo katika kesi ya Shaaban Khamis v. Samson Goa and the Commissioner of Police ya 1983.
Mbali ya maamuzi hayo ya Mahkama Kuu ya Zanzibar, Mahkama ya Rufaa ya Tanzania katika kesi ya Seif Sharif Hamad v. SMZ ya 1992 ilitoa ufafanuzi bayana zaidi hasa kuhusiana na kesi za jinai. Katika kesi hiyo Bwana Seif Sharif Hamad alishtakiwa kwa tuhuma za kupatikana na nyaraka za siri za Serikali kinyume na Sheria ya Usalama wa Taifa [National Security Act]ambayo ilitungwa na Bunge la Jamhuri ya Muungano. Hati ya mashtaka [Information] ilitiwa saini na Mkurugenzi Wa Mashtaka wa Tanzania Bara kwa vile ndiye aliyetajwa chini ya Sheria hiyo ya Usalama wa Taifa kwamba ndiye mwenye mamlaka ya kufungua mashtaka.
Mahkama ya Rufaa ilieleza: “Since the High Court of Zanzibar is not a Union matter, then its procedures and officers too are not Union matters. So if legislation of the Union Parliament which applies to both parts of the Union is silent as to the procedure to be followed in case of litigation or prosecution in the High Court of Zanzibar for purposes either of consent or instituting or conducting prosecution it is the Attorney General of Zanzibar or such officers appointed by him. The DPP [of the Mainland Tanzania] is not such an officer and as such officer and therefore he could not give his consent nor file information in the High Court of Zanzibar. So the proceedings were and are hereby declared to be a nullity.”
Kwa ufupi, Mahkama ya Rufaa ilibatilisha mashtaka na mwenendo mzima wa kesi kwa sababu DPP wa Tanzania Bara hakuwa na mamlaka ya kufunguwa kesi Zanzibar na aliyepaswa kufungua kesi ni Mwanasheria Mkuu wa Zanzibar, ambaye kwa wakati huo ndiye aliyekuwa na mamlaka ya mashtaka kwa vile ofisi ya DPP Zanzibar ilikuwa bado haijaanzishwa.
Ukichanganya yale niliyoeleza hapo awali na msimamo huu wa Mahkama ya Rufaa, ndio mana hata vyombo husika vya Tanzania Bara walijuwa na bado wanaelewa kwamba kuwasafirisha masheikh na kwenda kuwashtaki Tanzania Bara ni kinyume na Katiba zote mbili na ni kinyume na sheria za pande zote mbili za Muungano. Kama Bwana Masauni alikuwa na nia ya dhati ya kutafuta ukweli na kujiridhisha uadilifu katika suala hili, asingeliacha kutafuta wataalamu wa Sheria ambao wanalifahamu vizuri suala hili wakampa ufafanuzi.
Kiini cha Masheikh Kusafirishwa Kupelekwa Dar
Inahitaji weledi na kumbukumbu kidogo tu kufahamu kiini cha njama hiyo.
Baada ya vyama kuanzishwa Tume ya Muafaka ya Zanzibar chini ya Sheria Namba 10 ya Mwaka 2001, miongoni mwa mambo waliyoyafanya ni kutafuta wataalamu kufanya mapitio ya mfumo wa kisheria wa Zanzibar. Moja ya jopo la wataalamu hao alilokuwemo Profesa Issa Shivji lilibaini kwamba mashtaka yanatumika vibaya sana kwa malengo ya kisiasa. Na hivyo, wakapendekeza ianzishwe Ofisi huru ya Mkurugenzi wa Mashtaka badala ya mashtaka kuendeshwa na Mwanasheria Mkuu ambaye ana nasaba ya karibu na siasa.
Je, Dk. Ali Mohamed Shein anaweza kutumia nafasi yake kutatuwa dhuluma inayowaandamana masheikh wa Uamsho?
Ilipoanzishwa Ofisi hiyo mwaka 2002 chini ya Katiba ya Zanzibar kupitia Marekebisho ya Nane ya Katiba, nilipata heshima ya kuteuliwa kuwa Mkurugenzi wa Mashtaka mwanzilishi wa Ofisi hiyo, ambapo niliitumikia kwa miaka 9 kabla ya kuteuliwa kuwa Mwanasheria Mkuu. Miongoni mwa mambo ambayo yalifanyika ni kuondoa Polisi katika uendeshaji wa mashtaka ili wabaki na kazi ya upelelezi na badala yake mashtaka yaendeshwe na wanasheria wa Ofisi ya Mkurugenzi wa Mashtaka [civilianization of prosecution service]. Aidha, sheria za jinai, ile ya Jinai, Sura ya 13 [Penal Decree] na ile ya Nyendo za Jinai, Sura ya 14 [Criminal Procedure Decree] zilifanyiwa mapitio makubwa na kutungwa sheria mpya ya Jinai Namba 6 ya 2004 na ya Nyendo za Jinai, Namba 7 ya 2004.
Miongoni mwa mambo yaliyozingatiwa katika sheria hizo mpya ni pamoja na kuharakisha mashtaka kwa kuondoa utaratibu wa Uchunguzi wa Awali [Preliminary Inquiry], kuweka ukomo wa upelelezi ambapo muda maalum wa upelelezi uliwekwa kwa makosa mbalimbali na utaratibu wa kuomba kuongezwa muda wa upelelezi na Mahkama. Aidha, suala la dhamana liliwekwa bayana zaidi. Tokea wakati wa Sheria ya Jinai ya zamani [Penal Decree],hakukuwa na kosa ambalo halina dhamana chini ya sheria za Zanzibar. Isipokuwa tu kwa makosa makubwa kama vile mauaji, Mahkama Kuu pekee ndio yenye uwezo wa kutoa dhamana. Ilikuwa mazoea kwamba Mahkama Kuu nayo haikuwa ikitoa dhamana. Hivyo, sheria mpya iliweka bayana zaidi tu utaratibu wa kuomba dhamana Mahkama Kuu hata kwa makosa makubwa endapo mtu amekaa mahabusu muda mrefu na hakuna dalili kwamba upande wa mashtaka unafanya juhudi za kuridhisha katika upelelezi. Mfumo mpya wa mashtaka ulisisitiza sana upelelezi ufanyike kwanza kabla ya kufunguwa mashtaka. Hatua hizo zilipunguza sana mahabusu, kesi za kubambikiwa na kesi za kisiasa.
Rais Karume, kwa juhudi zake binafsi alihimiza kufanya kila aina ya mageuzi ambayo yataleta ustaarabu katika kusimamia mashtaka.
Mfumo huo wa uendeshaji wa sheria za jinai ulionekana kikwazo kwa baadhi ya maofisa wa polisi, hasa wale waliotoka Tanzania Bara. Na kwa hakika kutokana na kauli mbalimbali za walioandaa mpango wa kuwasafirisha masheikh hao kwenda Dar es Salaam, hilo ndio ilikuwa kiini cha masheikh hao kufanyiwa dhulma waliyofanyiwa na wanayoendelea kufanyiwa sasa.
Ninachojiuliza tu ni kwamba hivi Bwana Masauni hata akipata ukweli juu ya hili, bado ataona masheikh wanafanyiwa uadilifu? Pengine ni vibaya kutangulia kumhukumu, lakini naamini kama angekuwa na dhamira ya kweli ya kutafuta ukweli asingeshindwa kulijua hili.
Tathmini ya Masauni
Katika maelezo yake, Masauni anasema kwamba alienda kuwaona masheikh hao na wakamuhakikishia kwamba hawana tatizo lolote isipokuwa la kesi yao kuchelewa. Aidha, walimuahidi kwamba hawatokubali kutumika tena katika siasa. Alienda mbali zaidi kutuhumu kwamba inawezekana walihusika, kwa namna moja au nyengine, katika kadhia za watu kumwagiwa tindi kali na Padri mmoja kuuliwa Zanzibar. Na huyu ni mtu anayejinasibu na kutafuta ukweli na anayeamini kwamba yanayofanywa ni ya uadilifu.
Sheikh Msellem Ali, mmoja wa masheikh wa Uamsho waliowekwa ndani karibuni mwaka wa sita sasa.
Hili limenishangaza na kunikumbusha mmoja wa watu waadilifu sana naye ni Seyyidna Omar Ibnul Khattab. Katika kitabu chake cha MAISHA NA NYAKATI ZA SEYYIDNA OMAR, Dr Ali Mohammad as-Sallabi, miongoni mwa visa vingi vinavyofafanuwa misingi ya uadilifu iliyosimamiwa na Seyyidna Omar, ameeleza kisa cha Gavana wa Misri, Amr ibn Al-As. Siku mojawapo vijana walikunywa kinywaji ambacho hawakujua kama ni kilevi. Baada ya kinywaji hicho kuwalewesha walifikishwa mbele ya Gavana wa Misri ili wapewe adhabu kwa kulewa. Ingawa mwanzoni alisita, lakini alitekeleza adhabu [hadd] kwa kuwachapa bakora na kuwanyoa nywele zao hadharani. Lakini aliitekeleza adhabu hiyo hiyo kwa mmoja wa vijana hao kwa faragha akiwa ndani ya nyumba yake. Alifanya hivyo kwa sababu kijana huyo alikuwa mtoto wa Seyyidna Omar, ambaye ndiye aliyekuwa Khalifa wa Dola ya Kiislamu wakati huo na ambaye ndiye aliyemteua Amr kuwa Gavana wa Misri. Alipopata habari hiyo, Seyyidna Omar alimpelekea Amr barua kali ya kumuonya kwa kufanya upendeleo huo na akamtanabahisha kwamba yeye Omar kama kiongozi hampendelei yeyote katika kutimiza wajibu wake.
Kisa chengine chenye mafunzo makubwa ni pale mtoto wa Gavana huyo alipompiga kijana mmoja wa Kimisri lakini Amr hakuchukuwa hatua yoyote dhidi ya mtoto wake. Seyyidna Omar alimuita yeye na mtoto wake na baada ya kumkanya akamtaka afanye suluhu na aliyefanyiwa kitendo hicho. Mbali ya hayo, alimwambia maneno ambayo huwa yananukuliwa sana na wapenda uadilifu. Alimwambia: “Hivi wewe ni nani wa kuwafanya watumwa watu waliozaliwa na mama zao wakiwa huru!?”
Masauni yeye hajakerwa na masheikh hao kuwekwa ndani muda mrefu kwa kisingizio cha upelelezi kutokamilika. Na bado anajinasibisha na uadilifu na uumini. Uadilifu unahitaji ukerwe na kila chenye harufu ya dhulma, harufu ya uonevu na harufu ya upendeleo. Ndio viongozi waadilifu wa kweli kama Seyyidna Omar walivyotufunza kwa vitendo.
Inawezekana Masauni hafahamu kwa sababu hakuwepo, kwamba masheikh hao hawajawahi kuhusishwa wala kutuhumiwa kisheria kwa makosa aliyoyataja ya kumwagiwa watu tindikali wala kuuawa kwa Padri. Majalada ya kesi hizo yapo na angeweza kujiridhisha. Ni vyema kumtanabahisha kwamba kumsingizia mtu iwe moja kwa moja au vyenginevyo kwa madhumuni tu ya kuonyesha kwamba ni mbaya ni kiwango cha juu cha kukosa uadilifu ambao Masauni anapenda kujinasibisha nao. Ndio maana Allah [SW] katika Surat Al-Furqan [Sura ya 25], alipotaja sifa za watu wema amesema kwamba watu wema ni pamoja na wale ambao sio mashuhuda wa uongo na wanapokutana na mambo ya kipuuzi huyapita huku wakibaki na heshima. Allah ameliunganisha hili la ushuhuda wa uongo na mambo ya upuuzi [laghwa] kwa sababu mara nyingi ni katika  mambo hayo ya laghwa ambapo shetani huipamba starehe ya kupita, dhulma na haramu mpaka watu wakafika kuwa shuhuda wa uongo. Ni wazi na shetani naye amempambia Masauni laghwa katika jukwaa la siasa.
Hivi Masauni hafahamu kwamba masheikh hao kukaa ndani kwa miaka sita sasa ni adhabu ya kudhiisha na kudhalilisha? Masheikh hao ni watu wenye familia, wenye ndugu, wenye watoto, wenye wanafunzi, wafuasi, majirani na wahisani. Wapo ambao ndoa zao na familia zimeparaganyika kwa sababu tu ya wenyewe kuwa mahabusu. Wapo ambao familia zao zinaishi kwa dhiki kubwa kwa sababu ya wao kutokuwepo. Wapo ambao wazee wao wanaumwa kwa sababu ya fikra juu ya watoto wao. Fikiria pia afya na siha za watu hao ambao wapo kizuizini huku wao wakiwa na yakini kwamba wapo kizuizini sio kwa tuhuma za jinai, bali kwa dhulma ya dhahiri. Bado unapata sura, mdomo na maneno ya kujinasibisha na uadilifu katika kulishughulikia suala lao?
Nini Hasa Kosa la Masheikh?
Hakuna asiyejuwa, hata wale wanaojitowa fahamu, kwamba masheikh hao wapo ndani ikiwa sehemu ya uwekezaji unaofanywa kuwanyamazisha wote wanaodai haki zao kama wananchi wa Zanzibar ndani ya Muungano. Na wanafanya hivyo kwa njia ya amani, kwa njia zinazokubaliwa kisheria, njia ya kusema na kutoa mawazo yao. Uwekezaji huo umeanza siku nyingi na bado unaendelea. Hilo ndio kosa walilolifanya na kukamatwa chambilecho Wazungu “red-handed”. Lakini naomba nimtanabahishe Masauni maneno ya mwanasiasa mahiri wa Uingereza Bwana William Pitt [Earl of Catham] aliyoyasema katika Bunge la Uingereza tarehe 14 Januari 1766 wakati akiwatetea na kuwaunga mkono Wamarekani kwa kudai haki zao kutoka kwa Waingereza: “Gentlemen have been charged with giving birth to sedition in America. They have spoken their sentiments with freedom against the unhappy act, and that freedom has become their crime. Sorry I am to hear the liberty of speech in this House imputed as a crime…I rejoice that America has resisted.”
Wengi wanaamini hii ndiyo sababu ya viongozi wa Uamsho kuwekwa ndani kwa mwaka wa sita sasa.
Nadhani Bwana William Pitt anastahiki kujinasibisha na uadilifu kwa kuisema Serikali yake ndani ya Bunge akiwatetea wale ambao wanaoshtakiwa kwa makosa ya uchochezi kwa kudai haki zao huku akionesha wazi kuwa anawaunga mkono katika harakati zao.
Aidha, ni vyema Masauni akakumbuka kwamba historia ya dunia imethibitisha kuwa huwezi kutumia nguvu na vitisho kunyamazisha watu wanaodai haki zao.  Wenye busara kama vile mbunge mwengine maarufu wa Uingereza, Bwana Edmund Burke, naye katika hotuba yake katika Bunge la Uingereza aliyoitoa Machi 1775 aliitanabahisha Serikali yake kwamba matumizi ya nguvu hayajawahi kusaidia katika kunyamazisha harakati za binadamu kudai haki yake. Yeye alisema: “The use of force is but temporary, it may subdue for a moment, but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again; and a nation is not governed which is to be perpetually conquered.”

Hoja ya Masauni ya Siasa za Kuligawa Taifa
Miongoni mwa maneno mazuri sana aliyoyasema Bwana Masauni ni yale ya kukemea siasa za kuligawa taifa. Jinsi ya alivyosema yale maneno kwa hisia, binafsi natamani sana ingekuwa kauli yake ya dhati kabisa. Kutokana na ushawishi wake wa kisiasa, angeisaidia sana Zanzibar kuondokana na maradhi ya ubaguzi na mifarakano inayopandikizwa kila uchao hata kwa kizazi cha kesho.
Lakini hivi Masauni hajui nani walioko mstari wa mbele kupandikiza fitna hiyo? Wanasema hata hofu ya Mungu hawana. Wanasema hadharani, kwa mabango na matangazo kauli za kupandikiza chuki na kukigawa hata chama chao kwa misingi ya rangi, asili na kabila. Wapo waliokwenda mbali zaidi na kusema katika mikutano ya hadhara na vyombo vikuu vya nchi kwamba Serikali ya Zanzibar haiwezi kutolewa kwa njia ya kura kwa vile imepatikana kwa mapinduzi. Ndio tuseme Masauni anataka tuamini kwamba hajawahi kuyasikia au kuyaona hayo yote? Tumuulize ni lini ameyakemea hata kwa faragha? Na yapo mengine mabaya zaidi ya hayo ambayo yanajenga mizizi ya chuki ya muda mrefu zaidi kwa vizazi vyetu na ambayo tunaamini kama Masauni hakushiriki kuyaandaa, basi angalau anayajuwa vizuri lakini hayajawahi hata kumuuma kwamba ni mabaya kwa mustakbali wa taifa.
Inasikitisha sana kwamba katika karne hii ya maendeleo makubwa sana ya binaadamu, katika taifa letu bado wapo viongozi wanaotumia rasilimali na nguvu nyingi kushughulikia mambo ambayo hayaongezi tija wala sifa yoyote kwa taifa. Kama angekuwa na dhamira ya dhati ,Masauni angeisaidia sana Serikali kupata ukweli na ufumbuzi wa suala la masheikh wale wanaoteseka kwa sababu tu ya hakuna aliyepo tayari kuwa mkweli. Watu wote niliowataja na wengine ambao sikuwataja wanaolijuwa suala la masheikh kwa undani wapo na ni wazima wa afya. Mimi naamini kwamba wanaweza kusaidia sana kuueleza ukweli.  Baadhi yao wamestaafu na hiyo inawapa fursa ya kuwa wawazi zaidi.
Mimi naamini viongozi wetu wa sasa walibebeshwa tu suala la masheikh. Ukizingatia kwa makini kauli ya Mwigulu Nchemba, kauli ya Profesa Kabudi na kauli ya Masauni zinavyopishana ni dhahiri kwamba yapo mambo viongozi hawaelezwi ukweli.
Kama nilivyotangulia kueleza kwamba lilipotokea suala hili,Rais Magufuli hakuwa ameanza hata mchakato wa Urais na Dkt Shein naye hakuwepo hata nchini.  Ni busara wakachukuwa nafasi yao kama viongozi waliobebeshwa tu suala hili na kulipatia ufumbuzi wa haraka. Kwa Dkt Shein, itamsaidia sana kama atatanabahi ule msemo wa Kiswahili unaosema: “Ukishapata Mlango wa Kuingia basi Tafuta na wa Kutokea”.  Rais Dkt Amani Karume nadhani aliukumbuka msemo huu na leo kwa hakika anafaidika nao.
 Mwandishi wa makala hii aliwahi kuwa Mkurugenzi wa Ofisi ya Mwendesha Mashitaka na kisha Mwanasheria Mkuu wa Zanzibar.