Tanzania opposition ACT-Wazalendo finally agrees to join Zanzibar’s unity government

Sunday December 06 2020
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ACT-Wazalendo secretary-general Ado Shaibu

Dar es Salaam.  ACT-Wazalendo on Sunday finally agreed to be part of Zanzibar’s Government of National Unity (GNU), ending days of uncertainty and dilly-dallying on the opposition party’s part.

The party’s Central Committee (CC) convened in Dar es Salaam to discuss the country’s political situation, including the GNU, nearly 40 days after the October 28 General Election.

ACT-Wazalendo secretary-general Ado Shaibu told a news conference that the CC had carefully considered the political situation in Zanzibar, and decided to put voters’ interests first.

“The CC has unanimously resolved to allow members of the House of Representatives, Members of Parliament, and councillors to represent the party and voters.

“The CC has also directed the leadership committee to propose the name of a party member, who will serve as Zanzibar’s First Vice President,” Mr Shaibu said.

He added that the party’s resolution was based on the views of its leaders, members, as well as the political situation in Zanzibar and Tanzania in general.

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Mr Shaibu said of particular concern was the prevailing situation in Zanzibar, “where political animosity and hostility have resumed following the 2020 elections”.

“Wisdom is needed to heal the wounds that resulted from the contentious elections in Zanzibar. Wisdom is needed to avoid a repeat of the same in Zanzibar in the future. We need to lay the groundwork to ensure that future elections are free, fair and credible,” he said.

Mr Shaibu noted that with the possible exception of 2010, following the signing of the reconciliation pact on November 5, 2009, elections in Zanzibar, including the 2020 polls, have been marred by “appalling violence and killings”.

“The 2015 elections would have gone down in history as the most well organised elections in Zanzibar, thanks to the GNU of the time, only for results to be cancelled at the eleventh hour in highly dubious circumstances,” he said.

The CC is confident that the GNU to be put in place after the October 28 elections will go out of its way to prevent human rights violations and electoral malpractice in the future, Mr Shaibu added.

He urged the GNU to probe human rights violations that occurred before, during and after the 2020 elections, console the victims and hold the perpetrators accountable.

Mr Shaibu said ACT-Wazalendo was also looking forward to far-reaching electoral reforms, adding that this was crucial to restoring the people’s “badly eroded trust in the electoral process”.

Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi has already appointed his government, but has left the post of First Vice President and two Cabinet slots vacant as he awaits possible inclusion in the government of ACT-Wazalendo.

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By Louis Kolumbia @Collouis1999 [email protected]