Tanzania: Zanzibar Firm on Protecting Peace During Elections

Poll agents check their names on lists posted at the Ubungo Ward Office in Kinondoni District (file photo).

Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR government yesterday reaffirmed its commitment to free and fair general elections later this year, declaring stern legal measures against people bent on disrupting the democratic process.

Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi said it was an obligation of all Zanzibaris to promote and protect the country's peace and tranquility during the entire election period.

"It's our collective responsibility to ensure peace prevails; let's love and tolerate each other, and work together, because through our solidarity and unity, the country will easily attain sustainable development," Ambassador Iddi told the House of Representatives.

He implored parents to talk to their children against deceitful politicians who are likely to lure them into criminal acts, which might threaten peace in the country.

"The government will have no mercy on any individual or group of people attempting to disrupt the hard earned peace...peace is our treasured asset," Ambassador Iddi said in his speech to adjourn the ninth House of Representatives' 17th meeting to April 1, 2020.

He urged Zanzibar citizens to closely monitor and heed all directives from the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) for smooth electoral preparations, especially registration of new voters and updating of existing electorates' information.

The vice-president condemned the rising cases of gender based violence in the islands, reminding Zanzibaris to go back to their human, social and religious beliefs and cooperate with leaders at all levels to fiercely fight the vices.

Ambassador Iddi cited wife beatings, rape, defilement, discarding of infants, inappropriate divorces and drug abuse and trafficking as the serious crimes that were currently haunting the Zanzibar society.

He reminded wananchi to take precautions against the likely tragedies, insisting on people to move from flood prone settlements closely monitor the movements of their children and heed expert directives on climate and health.

He directed public servants to work diligently in execution of what he described as the "poor liberator," Tanzania Social Action Fund III's second phase, which President John Magufuli launched in Dar es Salaam on February 17, 2020, saying embezzlement of the fund will be mercilessly fought.

"I urge all (public) servants who will participate in this project at different levels to display high degree of patriotism towards success...the government will not tolerate any servant proved to have misappropriated the project funds," warned Ambassador Iddi.

Meanwhile, members of the house yesterday passed a declaration to congratulate President Ali Mohammed Shein for a job well done during his nine years at the helm of the Islands leadership.

Earlier, Mfenesini Representative, Machano Othman Said presented in the house a joint private motion that persuaded members to extol Dr Shein, describing the head of state as "our treasure from God."

He enumerated many achievements in economic, social, cultural and democratic spheres that the country has achieved during the seventh phase of the government, saying President Shein has indeed performed impressively.

Mr Othman and his Paje counterpart, Jaku Hashim Ayoub prepared the motion, which received overwhelming support from both government and backbenchers in the house.

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