CCM: No need for JK`s help on Z`bar stalemate


Senior Member
Sep 12, 2006
2008-03-04 09:59:30
By Lydia Shekighenda and Correspondent Felister Peter

Chama Cha Mapinduzi Secretary General Yusuf Makamba has said the ongoing
peace talks between his ruling party and the opposition Civic United Front
(CUF) are on track and do not need a push from President Jakaya Kikwete.

He has also ruled out the possibility of concluding the negotiations by
the end of this month as recently demanded by the CUF youth wing.

He said in an interview with this paper yesterday that CUF was going too
far in seeking the president`s intervention in the negotiations ``because
the committee formed to work on the issue has not failed to accomplish its

Makamba noted that all issues related to the Zanzibar political impasse
were being ably handled by the committee, which comprises six members from
either side and is co-chaired by the two parties` secretaries general.

``We are proceeding well with the talks, guided by the five terms of
reference we were given when we started.

We are not stuck and therefore see no logic of involving President Kikwete
in the negotiations at this stage,`` he said.

He further explained that the two rival sides have worked closely together
in handling ``this highly delicate and sensitive matter``, with members of
the committee normally updating their parties on whatever progress is made
or problems experienced.

``We will only ask for President Kikwete`s intervention when we see that
we are surely heading for failure,� stated an upbeat Makamba.

He said the committee was working without a timeframe ``largely because we
are expected to discuss each agenda item thoroughly and keep our
respective parties posted before proceeding with other items``.

``There is just no possibility of concluding these complex negotiations by
the end of this month because they were dealing with an issue that
involves an entire nation and not merely the CCM and CUF secretaries
general and members,`` he added.

Members of the CUF youth wing at the weekend gave President Kikwete one
month to resolve the Zanzibar political impasse, saying they would
otherwise seek ``popular intervention``. However, Makamba said the
ultimatum came from people ignorant of what was actually going on.

``As I speak, the negotiations are going on in Zanzibar. We appeal to CUF
members and the Tanzanian public to be patient. We are right on course, as
far as our talks are concerned,`` he pointed out.

Contacted for comment on the matter, CUF Deputy Secretary General Wilfred
Lwakatare reiterated his party`s stance and called on President Kikwete to
intervene and resolve the deadlock ``with minimum delay``. However, he
gave no ultimatum.

He explained that he saw no reason for delays in �putting this
drawn-out impasse behind us when this is actually a matter that can be
resolved within no time``.

``The point is that people want to get satisfactory feedback on what is
being discussed because it has taken too long,`` added Lwakatare, noting
that the country was approaching the next (2010) general elections while
still dealing with a problem relating to the 2000 general election.

A section of the opposition camp and members of the public have recently
been calling on President Kikwete to employ the ``same magic`` he used in
helping bring the bloody post-election crisis in Kenya to a swift but
peaceful end in similarly ending the deadlock in Zanzibar.

The stalemate revolves around long-running claims by CUF, the major
opposition party in the Isles, that CCM massively rigged the multiparty
general elections in Zanzibar in 2000 and 2005. However, the ruling party
has always vehemently denied ever stealing votes.

SOURCE: Guardian
Top Bottom