GREEN Light Foundation (GLF) has denied having any political motives in rewarding Zanzibar students with excellent performance in national examinations.
Recently, the NGO, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training Zanzibar and office of Urban Regional Commissioner, Mr Ayoub Mahmoud Mohamed, awarded best form six performers in recognition of their achievements.
The beneficiaries included form six graduates who scored division one during the May examinations.
It is those who made it to the national top-ten list and best science subject performers.
Also awarded were best performing teachers, best performing schools and outstanding students with special needs.
The awards included laptops, trophies, smart phones, internet rooters, cash prizes and books.
The main opposition party, Civic United Front (CUF) youth wing (UVCUF) claimed that the move to award the students had political motives, alleging that it sought to enticing the students to become supporters of the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM).
Speaking at a joint press conference with the graduates, GLF Director Mr Salim Mussa Omar, rubbished claims of political motives or bias in organising and issuing the annual awards.
"We are truly shocked and saddened by UVCUF's claims that there were political motives in awarding our best performing students, their claims are false and baseless," said Mr Omar, adding:
"We are an independent NGO with no political affiliations or interests, we are working with all Zanzibaris regardless of their ideologies; our only interest in rewarding outstanding students is to inspire and support Zanzibar students with the view of raising their performance in all national examinations," Mr Omar added.
"If UVCUF wants to join us and support educational reforms, they are warmly welcome; the door is open for them," he remarked.
On behalf of his colleagues, Idd Juma Idd, said the UVCUF claims were completely baseless and urged politicians not to go overboard on politicking.
"They should not involve education in their politicking; we never received membership cards as UVCUF claim; neither did we receive any political promises," said Idd amid applause from his fellow recipients.
Biubwa Khamis Ussi, one of the top ten A-Level graduates, echoed Idd's sentiments, saying politicians should keep education out of their political games.