WikiLeaks: Kikwete feared for his re-election bid Dar es Salaam - President Jakaya Kikwete feared a unity government in Zanzibar before the 2010 General Election would undermine his chance for re-election to second and final five-year term as head of state. According to leaked US diplomatic cables, the dramatic collapse in Muafaka talks between Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and Civic United Front (CUF) in 2006 had everything to do with competing political interests to shape the elections that were four years away. US deputy ambassador D. Purnell Delly said CCM considered any agreement to allow CUF into the government would be risky because it would be unpopular with the party's top leadership and members who equated it to a voluntary relinquishing of power. "Moreover, any future discord within such a coalition government could be viewed as a failure for President Kikwete, which in turn could cause problems as he seeks a second term in office," wrote Mr Delly, in his June 2007 communication to Washington. However, State House director of communication, Mr Salva Rweyemamu, told The Citizen on Saturday that President Kikwete's commitment to finding a lasting solution to political problems in Zanzibar was very clear and apparent. "Not everything that is put on Wikileaks is true because Wikileaks is neither the Bible nor the Quran. How can someone doubt the President's resolve even after he spearheaded efforts to make sure the political tension between CCM and CUF was ended?" Rweyemamu queried. The latest documents released by WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing website, say despite opposing the idea of inviting CUF into early power-sharing, President Kikwete was nevertheless concerned about Zanzibar's stability as CCM and CUF talks collapsed. He also was uncertain if authorities could mount a referendum ahead of the 2010 election. The diplomatic dispatches that were sent from the US embassy in Dar es Salaam between June 2007 and July 2009 also depict desperation among top CUF leaders keen to secure a deal with CCM. Mr Kikwete openly confessed about the pressure he was being subjected to by hardliners in his ruling party and the opposition CUF over a proposal to form the unity government as a settlement for nearly 20 years of political animosity between the two parties in Zanzibar. According to the US cables, Kikwete remarked in a June 2009 meeting with US deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew, before departing for the Africa Union (AU) meeting in Libya, that he was "getting attacked both by the opposition CUF and within his own party" over his efforts to get the talks back on track. The ambassador told his superiors in Washington: "Kikwete said the important thing before the 2010 elections was to make arrangements for ‘new political dispensations without which I do not know how it will end', in a remark on the ‘hairline' elections outcome in Zanzibar in the past." While CUF officials believed Mr Kikwete was their chief CCM ally in pushing for the unity government, the US cables point out that they realised late he could not guarantee a deal with the elections just around the corner. The President is reported telling Ambassador Michael Retzer in a June 17 meeting that CCM's approach was to address power-sharing as the last item in the reconciliation talks. Kikwete said that formation of a unity government in the near term would simply mean the parties continuing their quarrels inside the government. "The people of Zanzibar deserve a government that will work; we don't want to create a unity government that fails the next morning," the President, who doubles as CCM national chairman, is reported to have said. For his part, the opposition party sought to share power with President Amani Abeid Karume as a means to remain popular with its strong support base. The party's secretary general, Mr Seif Shariff Hamad, and national chairman, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, said a delay in securing a deal with CCM could spell an end to their long political careers as restless CUF members accused them of being "tired." Ambassador Delly revealed that while the opposition officials publicly assured their supporters of progress in the talks, they were less optimistic during internal meetings at which they warned of larking "danger" in the Isles should CCM refuse to play ball. According to the cables, while CUF believed youth in Zanzibar were radicalizing along Islamic fundamentalism, the embassy felt that widespread unemployment and poverty and growing disenfranchisement with democracy, after what they viewed as a third rigged election in October 2005, were more of a reality. The CUF acting secretary general, Mr Ismail Jussa Ladhu, told The Citizen on Saturday this week that he and other CUF officials held talks with several members of the diplomatic community in the country expressing the party's frustration over stalled talks. "I can confirm that I had several meetings with members of diplomatic missions. I told them of our leaders' desperation to end Zanzibar's political turmoil because our members were losing trust in us due to the prolonged discussions with CCM," said Mr Jussa. The cables quoted Mr Jussa saying that members may press for new leadership within CUF, or may resort to violence if their faith in the political process is sufficiently damaged, while Mr Mohamed revealed that during Hamad's March 2007 visit to Pemba, CUF members were telling him (Hamad) in his face: "You are tired; you need to step aside and let a new leadership into CUF." The cables separately reveal Prof Lipumba's deliberate effort to hide CUF members' displeasure with the party's leadership while separately saying Mr Hamad, who earlier struck a reconciliatory tone, had taken a combative stance, with warnings of bloodshed in one interview with Voice of America on July 30, 2009. The Zanzibar situation has since changed drastically following a referendum in which the people endorsed constitutional changes to allow formation of a government of national unity after the General Election. Former Vice President of the Union Government, Dr Ali Mohammed Shein of CCM is currently the Isles' President, deputized by Mr Hamad of CUF as First Vice President and Mr Idd Seif of CCM as Second Vice President. CUF has seven portfolios in the Zanzibar Cabinet. Source – the Citizen of today Saturday. My Take: Kwanza sasa ni wazi kwamba viongozi wa juu wa CUF walikuwa wanahofia nafasi zao katika chama chao iwapo serikali ya pamoja ingeshindikana kupatikana kabla ya uchaguzi bila shaka wakihofu kwamba matokeo huko Zanziba yangekuwa vile vile kama chaguzi zilizopita -- yaani kuibiwa ushindi. Kwa hivyo kuibiwa kura (kama ilivyofanyika katika uchaguzi wa mwaka jana huko Z'bar) hautakuwa na athari kubwa kwao wakiwemo katika serikali ya pamoja. Pili ni dhahiri kabisa kwamba pamoja na JK kuonyesha anapenda kuona uelewano baina na CUF na CCM unakwisha katika kuwashirikisha CUF katika serikali ya pamoja, zaidi alikuwa anaangalia nafasi yake ya kushinda huku bara katika uchaguzi au hata katika kupata uteuzi wa chama chake. Mgogoro wa Zanzibar ulikoneka kutaka kumharibia. Kwa hivyo hawa wakubwa kunapotakiwa maamuzi yenye masilahi ya kitaifa huwa kwanza wanajifikiria nafasi zao kuendelea kuwapo madarakani.