STRAIGHT TALK : Magufuli’s silence over Zanzibar deafening

Sunday November 15 2015



Ally Saleh

Ally Saleh 

It is now three weeks since Zanzibaris went to the polls. The elections were meant to put in place in a new government. But, that is yet to happen and by each passing day, hope keeps fading. To say the least, it is as if the electorate have been cheated.

Failing to provide the voters the government of their choice – obtained through the ballot – contradicts the democratic values. It is betraying their right as citizens and an abrogation of their constitutional right. There cannot be any excuse for what transpired, especially in a country that vowed to commit itself to respecting the will of the people. Frankly speaking, I’m yet to overcome my shock. I can’t explain reasonably what is happening in Zanzibar now. The silence of Union’s new, Dr John Magufuli, is deafening. I keep wondering; how he can comfortably be sitting at the Magogoni Office and let the impasse in Zanzibar continue as it does.

In my humble opinion, if he were able to pay surprise visits to the Finance ministry and Muhimbili National Hospital, he surely could have already taken steps to end the stalemate in this other side of the Union.

We know he is busy with his new office but as a President he should be undertaking multiple tasks at the same time.

He has no way to push aside this issue. As I said somewhere else the more this drags on the more it will have very negative impact on the Union and how the country relates with other partners. This dilly-dallying is already beginning to cause Dr Magufuli to lose the confidence of Zanzibaris. This is dangerous.

I am also flabbergasted by what I can now call a clique of people in Zanzibar which is looking for every excuse to look for laughable loopholes in the Zanzibar Constitution. This do so in order to continue clinging to power whether the constitution allow it or not.

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The voters have spoken and have so loudly such that even the dead can be heard. And by all counting, and CCM has not questioned about the statistics of the elections, I think they have lost it and it a big way but go on into the intricacies of the technicalities.

But also Zanzibaris are not only kept in limbo but they are blindfolded as what is the future holding for. The Isles’ President has been kept in power after aborted elections. Let him remember that he lacks constitutional basis to do that let alone forming a cabinet. He also lacks the power to summon the House of Representatives.

I’m not saying that all I want is for the presidency to be given to Mr Seif Sharif Hamad, far from it, what I stress is that we must respect the will of the people and make smooth handling of power as per the Constitution.

Tanzanians are now witnessing a rare scenario in Zanzibar and which requires special attention. It is a scenario that completely negates democracy and which will create a very negative precedent for Zanzibar and I am sure it will cause major apathy.

The head of the opposition despite being clear winner and having had his victory denied him has so far remained calm. He has even been consistently asking his supporters to refrain from any trouble because he is in total belief that this stalemate will be amicably resolved and only logical result will be to award him his rightful place as the next President of Zanzibar.

We hope CCM would see this as the only way to keep Zanzibar safe.