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Seif fans flames of Union debate

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by BAK, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Sep 1, 2008
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    Seif fans flames of Union debate

    CUF secretary-general Seif Shariff Hamad.
    By Salma Said, Zanzibar

    The debate on the status of Zanzibar in the Union has resurfaced again despite President Jakaya Kikwete's speech in Parliament that was expected to put the issue to rest.

    Zanzibari elders from across the political divide held a public forum at the weekend to discuss Zanzibar's status and the current setup of the Union.

    Speakers at the meeting in Chaani, Unguja North Region, included Civic United Front (CUF) secretary-general Seif Shariff Hamad, who likened the union to a coat that had become uncomfortably small.

    Echoing the words of Zanzibar's first President and one of the founders of the Union, Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume, Mr Hamad said: "The union is just like a coat, which you can put on and take off according to the weather."

    He said Zanzibaris were not in favour of the Union in its current structure.

    "We want the Union to be maintained, but not in its current form. Mzee Karume told us that when the coat becomes too small, we simply take it off," he told the well-attended rally.

    He said it was time that Zanzibaris demanded their rights "forcefully and without fear", adding that their recommendations on the Union setup had invariably been met with contempt from their Tanzania Mainland counterparts.

    Mr Hamad said President Kikwete's speech did not address the concern of the people, particularly Zanzibaris, adding that mocking and intimidating language against those pointing out the demerits of the union would not help.

    He said there was no need for the head of state to be surprised that people were raising questions about the Union because most of them were ignorant as to why Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged in the first place.

    Mr Hamad said political leaders were largely to blame for not making sufficient effort to educate the people on the rationale of having the union.

    "We cannot blame the people, but the rulers. It is a fact that the union is not well understood. We do not know what Mzee Karume and Mwalimu Nyerere had in mind when they merged our countries. It is like the whole issue has been wrapped in a black cloth," he said amid applause.

    He told the meeting, attended by hundreds of people clad in green shirts worn by CCM members and supporters, that it was unfortunate that pinpointing the weaknesses of the union was considered treasonable.

    Mr Hamad said it was now time that the people engaged freely in debate on the way forward for the union, which, he added, was decided by "just two people without the input of other leaders of the time".
    He scoffed at suggestions that those prolonging the debate harboured a hidden agenda, saying Zanzibari leaders were speaking on their people's behalf.

    "If there is anyone who is harbouring a hidden agenda, it is those who are clamouring for a single-government union," Mr Hamad said, adding that Zanzibari leaders were answerable to Zanzibari voters. "You must not be intimidated by anyone. Your leaders are answerable to Zanzibaris. They killed their Tanganyika in Parliament so it is up to them," he said.

    Mr Hamad accused Kyela MP Harrison Mwakyembe of attempting to muzzle Zanzibari leaders by accusing them of being disrespectful for criticising Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda's assertion that Zanzibar was not a state within the union.

    He said people from either side of the union must be left to decide on the form the union should take.

    The union debate flared up in July when Mr Pinda said Zanzibar is not a state within the United Republic of Tanzania. The remark drew a sharp reaction from several high-ranking officials in the Zanzibar government.

    But Mr Pinda maintained a week later that what he had said was correct as it was in accordance with constitutions of both the United Republic of Tanzania and Zanzibar.

    He was answering a question by the Leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament, Mr Hamad Rashid Mohammed, during the Prime Minister's questions session.

    The Wawi MP had asked Mr Pinda to give the Union Government's response after Zanzibar Attorney General Iddi Pandu Hassan told the Zanzibar House of Representatives that Zanzibar was a state. Mr Hassan said the Prime Minister either had a slip of the tongue or had misinterpreted the constitutional provisions.

    Additional reporting by Christopher Kidanka
  2. P

    Pakacha JF-Expert Member

    Sep 1, 2008
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  3. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    Huyu naye anaganga njaa tu. Sitoshangaa kama atarudi CCM akiahidiwa kacheo fulani katika Zanzibar ambayo itakuwa nchi.
  4. Mwiba

    Mwiba JF-Expert Member

    Sep 1, 2008
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    Kazi upya ,Kikwete nchi imeshamshinda ndio maana baada ya kurapu bungeni ameenda zake kula kuku kwa mrija.
    Yaani hata hajasubiri kuona WaTanzania wameipokea vipi yale mazungumzo yake ya Bungeni ,ameweza kuingia mitini na haijulikani atarejea lini ,ili kuweka hotuba yake sawa kwa kusema imeeleweka sivyo.