Tanzania opposition ACT-wazalendo rule out two-day election, quash Mazrui rumour

Former ACT Wazalendo leader Zitto Kabwe addresses thousands of the party's supporters in Zanzibar. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The party's former leader Zitto Kabwe emphasized that extending voting to two days only opens doors to election malpractice and theft.

Unguja. Opposition party ACT Wazalendo has firmly declared their stance against conducting elections over two days, emphasizing their commitment to ensuring a single-day voting process in the upcoming 2025 elections.

Speaking at a rally held at Mchangani Grounds in Malindi, the party's former leader Zitto Kabwe emphasized that extending voting to two days only opens doors to election malpractice and theft.

"We cannot afford a repeat of past injustices, especially what occurred in 2020. Two-day elections are a gateway for electoral theft, and that's exactly what your leaders have been doing," Kabwe asserted to the enthusiastic crowd.

He reassured the public of ACT Wazalendo's dedication to upholding democratic principles, honoring the sacrifices of those who have fought for democracy in Zanzibar.

"We must move forward, not backward. Our solemn duty is to ensure the 2025 elections are transparent and fair," Kabwe declared.

He added: Our party recognises the sufferings that the Zanzibari people have gone through including deaths and maimings, therefore we cannot move backwards because the day we do that, we shall have betrayed those whose blood for us, we shall have betrayed Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad who was steadfast in leading the struggle for democracy despite the difficulties . These moments can only strengthen us!

Addressing recent internal party turmoil, Vice Chairman Ismail Jussa Ladhu addressed and dismissed rumors about the expulsion of party cadre Nassor Ahmed Mazrui.

  • Nassor Ahmed Mazrui. PHOTO | FILE

He clarified that recent controversies involving Mazrui, who had made statements perceived as favorable to the ruling party CCM, were addressed internally.

"In the past week, there have been uncertainties within our ranks. Last week there was a clip that circulated on social media about Nassor Mazrui praising Mwinyi, this annoyed and hurt many of our supporters. But those who were hurt by those words had the right to feel that way but our party is run on principles," Mr Jussa explained.

"Mr. Nassor Ahmed Mazrui admitted his mistake regarding statements made and assured the party of his continued loyalty."

Jussa affirmed Mazrui's commitment to ACT Wazalendo's values moving forward, reassuring supporters that such incidents would not recur.

Last week CCM-Zanzibar’s Secretary for publicity, Ideology and propaganda, Khamis Mbeto Khamis, claimed that they were prepared to welcome Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, Deputy Secretary General of ACT-Wazalendo, should he be expelled from his party.

He made this statement following rumours of preparations to expel Mazrui from ACT-Wazalendo, allegedly due to dissatisfaction with a remark he praising Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi’s effort in improving the healthcare sector during the launch of staff housing at Abdalla Mzee Hospital in Southern Pemba.

Mbeto claimed that he had received information from a reliable source within ACT-Wazalendo indicating that some leaders of the party's Central Committee held a secret meeting to thoroughly discuss allegations against Deputy Secretary General Nassor Mazrui.

Speaking at the same rally, national party chairman Othman Masoud, emphasized that genuine goodness should be earned rather than seeking public praise, as true virtue does not crave attention.

"As a leader, it is straightforward," he explained. "Act with kindness towards others. The recent remarks underscore how civility has been lacking, where someone you've harmed, their family, or even disabled, thanks you, yet you fail to regret or do otherwise," he stated.

Othman, also serving as the First Vice President, dismissed allegations that the party makes derogatory remarks against the government. "We speak because our nation pains us," he affirmed.

According to Othman, CCM envies ACT's public gatherings due to their inability to host their own meetings and relying on government events. "They claim we insult the President, the government. But what exactly are those insults to the government?" Othman challenged.

He pledged to continue exposing wrongdoing so everyone hears, stressing these are national concerns, not just personal grievances. "We speak because our country's poverty pains us," he added.

Othman lamented Zanzibar's current state despite its blessings, contrasting it with Mauritius, smaller yet managing Sh13 trillion internally this year.

He asserted their struggle for strong, passionate leadership, believing in attaining righteous governance, contrasting it with Zanzibar's current leadership.

"We're igniting change and uprooting obstacles, working tirelessly to ensure your votes bring real change," he declared.