24 March 2019

Tanzania: Battle for Followers Looms in Z'bar

Dar es Salaam — A scramble for political party followers in Zanzibar looms large as Civil United Front (CUF) leaders plan to tour the Isles.

The tour follows the decamping of many CUF members to ACT-Wazalendo.

CUF's new secretary general, Mr Khalifa Suleiman Khalifa, vowed during an interview with The Citizen yesterday to ensure that the party followers remain committed to CUF.

Recently a large group of former CUF members announced that they were crossing over to ACT-Wazalendo after former secretary secretary Seif Sharif Hamad quit CUF and joined ACT-Wazalendo.

Among new ACT-Wazalendo members belong to the family of the former CUF vice chairman for Zanzibar, Mr Abbas Juma Muhunda. Responding to a question by The Citizen yesterday regarding CUF's plans in Pemba and Unguja, where many members of the party have moved to ACT-Wazalendo, Mr Khalifa replied: "It is not true that members of my party moved to ACT as shown on social media."

Mr Khalifa who was appointed as the CUF secretary general on March 15, said the party's strategy was to continue growing and ignoring rumours that many CUF members had left the party.

"Members of the council and the general assembly living in Zanzibar are strengthening the party underground," he said, adding that "I am planning to raise CUF's temperature, and after three days, if you call me, I will have a good answer."

"People at Junguni in Pemba where the former CUF secretary general hails have called us to go and have coffee with them. Tomorrow our party leaders will be there," he said.

However the former CUF deputy secretary, Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, told The Citizen yesterday it was illusory for the party to claim that it still had members in what used to be its stronghold.

'What they may do in Unguja and Pemba might be to cause violence, but saying they would rescue the party is not true because there are no CUF members any more there," he said.

"There are no CUF members in Zanzibar. Mr Muhudi's parents took their ACT membership cards a few days ago."

He said there were 125,000 CUF on the Isles and all of them moved to ACT-Wazalendo.

More than 800 households (Maskani), 54 constituencies and more than 400 branches have also joined the party, he claimed.

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