Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: CCM, Cuf Trade Accusations Over CRC Violence

Photo: Fadhili Akida/Daily News
President Jakaya Kikwete (center), Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein (left) congratulate each other following their landslide victories as the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi Chairman and Vice-Chairman.

THE two main political parties in Zanzibar - CCM and CUF - are blaming each other for violence that rocked the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) meetings in Magomeni and Mpendae recently.

The parties that form the Isles' Government of National Unity (GNU), released press statements condemning each other for the chaos which prompted members of the commission to cancel the meetings on Monday and Tuesday.

CCM and CUF leaders and followers differ on what should be the structure of the union between Zanzibar and Tanganyika as the nation moves towards a new constitution.

CCM leaders including President Ali Mohamed Shein have repeatedly vowed to defend the current structure of the Union arguing it is the best for the unity of the country and its people, while CUF led by the First Vice-President, Mr Seif Sharif Hamad, are drumming up support for Zanzibar's sovereignty.

On one side, Mr Issa Hajji Ussi Gavu from CCM's Ideology and Publicity department said in a statement yesterday that dirty plans by one political party were to blame for the recent tension which forced the commission to cancel its meeting. "These are planned incidents by one political party which tries to force everybody in the islands to accept their idea for a new union government structure.

We are asking CRC to take strict measures against those attempting to 'spoil' the exercise," said Mr Issa in the statement. On the other hand, CUF's director for publicity Mr Salum Bimani said, also in a statement, that the chaos at CRC forums in Magomeni and Mpendae were caused by "some CCM leaders who tried to block people with opposing views from participating in the forums."

CRC is having its final public forums to collect views in Zanzibar Urban-West region before closing next Tuesday (December 18, 2012) after conducting the exercise throughout the country. The next stage is to collect views from social organizations (political parties and religious institutions).

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InFocus

Politicians From Zanzibar Warned Over Constitution Process

President Jakaya Kikwete (center), Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein (left) congratulate each other following their landslide victories as the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi Chairman and Vice-Chairman.

The Constitution Review Commission has taken a swipe at leaders who have reportedly interfered with the review process. Read more »