Zanzibar — Zanzibar Attorney General Said Hassan Said has distanced his office from an alleged plot to change the law and block members of the main opposition party in the Isles from contesting in next year's General Election.
Mr Said was responding to claims by ACT-Wazalendo that the ruling CCM has been directed to move a motion to amend the Isles' Election law with a view to blocking aspirants who would have not been members of the parties sponsoring them for at least three years from running in the elections.
ACT chief advisor Seif Shariff Hamad told reporters at the party's sub-office in Unguja that CCM had decided to push a bill - on a letter of urgency - through Zanzibar's House of Representatives that would block aspirants who would have not been members of the parties sponsoring them for at least three years from running in the elections.
Mr Hamad and his followers decamped to ACT-Wazalendo in March 2019 after years of wrangling in their former party, the Civic United Front (CUF). This means that by October 2020, they will have been members of ACT-Wazalendo for only one year and seven months.
But Mr Said told The Citizen yesterday that his office was not aware of the alleged bill, insisting that the former First Vice President in the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar was merely making a political rhetoric.
"Up to this time, there is no bill on election law amendment that's to be advanced in the House of Representatives on a letter of urgency basis. If there is any information alleging that there is such things then just consider it a political statement," he said.
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He however noted that there was indeed a bill that will be advanced in the ongoing meetings of House of Representatives on a letter of urgency, noting however that it (the bill) had nothing to do with politics or elections.
"The bill has something to do with the establishment of a Law School," he said, asking residents of Zanzibar and Tanzanians in general to closely follow the ongoing meetings of the House of Representatives and get to know the truth about what what's being discussed.
The Clerk of the Zanzibar House of Representatives, Raya Issa Mseellem, said his office had not received a bill that was in line with Mr Hamad's claims.
"My office has not received a bill that sounds like what is being claimed. We have only received one on the establishment of a Law School which will be presented in the House on Thursday," he said.
On Monday, CCM also hit back to Mr Hamad's claims, saying ACT "is rudderless and desperate".
"They are like a drowning person who is clutching at straws," the party's ideology and publicity secretary in Zanzibar, Ms Catherine Peter Nao, told The Citizen by telephone. Earlier, ACT chief advisor Seif Shariff Hamad said CCM was behind a plot to lock the opposition party's members out of next year's elections in Zanzibar.