Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hamad dismisses claims that CUF threatens Union

CUF Secretary General reacts to a question from

CUF Secretary General reacts to a question from an MCL journalist during this interview at the media house’s headquarters in Tabata Relini, Dar es Salaam yesterday. In the picture are MCL Executive Editor (right) and Senior Reporter Elias Msuya.  PHOTO | MCL 

By Louis Kolumbia @Collouis1999

Dar es Salaam. CUF has dismissed claims that it is a threat to the 53-year-old Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, saying what is said about it is just a propaganda by CCM.

Since reintroduction of multiparty democracy in the 1990s, the opposition party has been linked to attempts of harbouring division and that CUF Secretary-General Seif Shariff Hamad wasn’t a bonafide believer of the Union founded by the founding Fathers of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Abeid Aman Karume.

Political opponents have also used the notion to attack Mr Hamad and his political party, especially during elections that they were wrong candidates to be elected because they had secessionist intentions that posed a threat to the Union.

But, on Monday he told MCL digital team in an exclusive interview during his visit at Mwananchi Communications Limited offices that the claims that he would break the Union were not true and that those, who threatened the Union were serving in the Union government.

He said a few days before the swearing in of President John Magufuli he met his predecessor Jakaya Kikwete for private talks. “Mr Kikwete expressed the same concern that the people were doubtful of the Union fate in case I was elected President of the Revolutionary Republic of Zanzibar. What will be my starting point? I asked him. You are tomorrow handling powers to Dr Magufuli, but you have been the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces in the country. What will be my starting point in breaking the Union?,” he said during the interview.

Mr Hamad was referring to the powers entrusted to the Head of State in protecting the Union as quoted by President Magufuli in his speech to commemorate 53rd anniversary of the Union in Dodoma.

In his speech, Dr Magufuli warned anti-Union agitators, saying his government won’t tolerate people harbouring secessionist intentions. In his words, he said.

“We’re having difficulties even in maintaining our marriages, and thus we’re experiencing some challenges in our Union as well. However, we have a good system of sorting out our contentious issues through a Joint Union Commission chaired by Vice President and attended by Prime Minister and Zanzibar Second Vice President (Mr Seif Ali Idd.”