Tuesday, 17 April 2007

What is next for JK to resolve CCM/CUF dispute ?

Kikwete pleases CUF on Zanzibar issue 2006-01-01 09:57:28 By Issa Yussuf, Zanzibar
The Civic United Front (CUF) has saluted President Jakaaya Kikwete’s speech in Parliament in Dodoma on Friday, related to the Zanzibar question.The opposition party which has a relatively big following in the isles, hailed Kikwete for his determination to resolve the problems besetting Zanzibar. ’’The speech was good, and we feel the president has demonstrated goodwill right from the start of his leadership. We are ready to work closely with the president if his verbal commitments will be put into practice,’’ Salum Bimani the CUF deputy information director, said. He added: ’’We are sure President Kikwete knows well the source of the problems in Zanzibar, what has been missing is goodwill and commitment in solving the problems. We look forward to the president’s efforts.’’ Bimani alleged that one of the so! urces of the problems was lack of an opportunity for Zanzibaris to have free and fair elections in order to choose leaders of their choice. He further claimed that what Zanzibaris have experienced since the re-introduction of multiparty democracy is torture, intimidation, discrimination, and harassment from security forces during elections. In his first address to parliament since being sworn in after the resounding victory in the December 14 polls, President Kikwete said he was deeply troubled by the situation in Zanzibar. He said he was extremely concerned by the situation in the Isles, whereby the constituent parts, Zanzibar and Pemba, were deeply divided. Kikwete said: ’’I will make sure we engage in a dialogue so that we do away with political divisions and rivalry in Zanzibar.’’ The president further said that he would seek a new truce between the warring supporters of the ruling CCM and the main opposition group, the Civ! ic United Front (CUF). He said: ’’In this, I will go beyond the Muafaka (Accord’’,) referring to the deal that the two parties signed in 2001 after an explosion of violence following elections in 2000 that claimed at least 30 lives. Although this year’s clashes had not produced similar fatalities, at least four people, two civilians and two soldiers, were killed and nearly 200 people were wounded in violence surrounding the October elections. And at least 20 were injured in poll-related unrest last month, that sent hundreds of villagers fleeing their homes in Tumbatu Island (29k north of Unguja). In his speech President Kikwete, who succeeded Benjamin Mkapa as president of the union, also pledged his support in ensuring that Zanzibaris, get the support from the national government in economic development. President Kikwete said: ’’My government will increase its contributions! to the Zanzibar government to enable it to execute its operational and development goals.’’ SOURCE: Sunday Observer

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