9 November 2012

Tanzania: Govt Rules Out Zanzibar Conflicts Interference

Photo: Aino Tanhua/IRIN
Riots in Zanzibar. October 2012

Dodoma — THE union government will not interfere in conflicts rocking the Isles government, said to be jeopardizing the Government of National Unity (GNU), the Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda, told the House on Thursday.

Mr Pinda said that Zanzibar has a strong government that was wisely put into power by Zanzibaris thus it was unreasonable for the union government to intervene on matters that could be amicably solved by the Isle government. Premier Pinda was responding to a controversial question raised by Kombo Khamis Kombo (Wete-CUF) demanding to know the position of the union government when Isles' peace is at stake.

Mr Kombo argued that currently there are signs of peace infringement in Zanzibar characterized by massive violation of human rights, insisting that such peace infringement painted a dire picture to other foreign countries that Tanzania as whole was in pandemonium.He thus wanted to know the readiness of the union government -- President Jakaya Kikwete and the Prime Minister -- to meet with Isles' President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein and discuss on how to ensure that peace prevails in Isles and GNU remains intact.

Mr Pinda said that Zanzibar has a full-fledged government that was established as per Zanzibaris consent, thus there was no need for the union government to intervene in the conflicts that were only caused by a small group of people."We first have to have a clear understanding of the said conflicts before rushing into seeking such negotiations.

If we fail to identify the sides involved in the conflicts it is then illogical to reason that conflicts were in a position to jeopardize the GNU in Zanzibar," Mr Pinda explained, insisting that there was no need to interfere, for Isles government was able to put down the inconsistency. Mr Pinda said that the recent fracas in Zanzibar was just caused by the Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation (UAMSHO) and there was no agenda behind it that showed that GNU existence was at stake.

Meanwhile, Mr Pinda also promised that the government will intensively launch investigations on allegations levelled against the police force in the country that they were deploying excessive force in their operations and thus suppressing wananchi.He insisted that there was no one who was above the law, thus whoever is found to have violated the country's laws, be it a police officer or normal mwananchi, will face the wrath of law.

The premier was responding to Khatib Said Haji (Konde-CUF) who claimed that an operation to nab those involved in killing the Mwanza Regional Police Commander, Liberatus Barlow, went fine without injuring ordinary people but in Isles the situation was different.He said that police in Zanzibar launched an operation to nab culprits involved in the killing of Corporal Said Abdulrahman but a number of ordinary and less concerned wananchi were beaten up, harassed and subjugated over the matter.

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