Zanzibar. The ACT-Wazalendo national chairman, Maalim Seif Shariff Hamad, yesterday outlined five reasons for his decision to seek his party’s approval to vie for the Zanzibar presidency this year.
He said he wants to protect democracy, and lead the struggle for the party which he joined in March 2019 after protracted battles in his former political grouping, the Civic United Front (CUF).
Another reason for his decision is to honour the trust that the public has shown in him in his past five attempts at the Isles’ presidency.
He also wants to hammer home the lesson that people’s power is unchallengable. His vying for the Presidency, he said, will also provide Zanzibaris with an opportunity to meet their 2015 General Election expectations.
Mr Hamad outlined the five reasons in Unguja, Zanzibar, during a press conference to declare his decision to seek ACT-Wazalendo’s approval to stand for the Zanzibar presidency during the October General Election.
“After thorough consideration and consultations with various political players within and outside our party, today I’m ready to declare that I will contest for the Zanzibar presidency in this year’s elections,” he said.
This will be the sixth time for Mr Hamad to stand for the Zanzibar presidency after doing so in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 on the CUF ticket.
Leadership wrangles that erupted after the 2015 general elections saw the party split into two factions of chairman Prof Ibrahim Lipumba and the one that sought allegiance to Mr Hamad.
In March 2019, Mr Hamad and all his supporters defected to ACT Wazalendo after a court decision that legally recognized Prof Lipumba as the national chairman.
Mr Hamad said yesterday that he was vying for the presidency to protect multiparty democracy, saying the system of governance (multiparty) was in danger in Tanzania.
He alleged that leaders in the country were purposely defying principles of democracy and that he wanted to lead struggles engineered by the youth to sail the party through.
“ACT-Wazalendo requires an experienced captain who can handle turbulence and problems of the ocean which I’m ready to offer. Citizens’ wishes were defied in 2015. I have seen that this is the right time for people’s power to take its course,” he said.
According to him, following the 2015 decision to declare the CCM candidate winner of the Zanzibar on what he said was contrary to the wishes of the people of Zanzibar, he believes that this was the right time to give the Zanzibaris what they wished.
Mr Hamad who served as the first vice president in the Government of National Unity (GNU) formed by Dr Ali Mohamed Shein after the 2010 general elections said the outcome of a survey conducted by experts on his behalf established that the degree of acceptance among citizens was stable.
He said land disputes, provision of higher learning education and citizens being denied the rights to vote were among grievances facing the Zanzibaris.
“Some people are now opposing efforts made by the retired President of Zanzibar to unite citizens through the formation of the GNU. Corruption has now loomed on the Spice Isles, saying the archipelago required a leader with zero corruption tolerance” he said.
When asked about his trust to the current electoral commission, he said it was the worst in the history of the Isles, saying they were preparing to defend and protect their victory through powers of citizens.
“When well-designed, people’s power cannot be contained through the use of defence and security organs,” said Mr Hamad.
The man is expected to collect the party’s nomination forms on July 4 this year.