Dar es Salaam — ACT-Wazalendo yesterday received 21 lawmakers and nine councillors who ditched the Civic United Front (CUF) at a ceremony where its top leaders expressed confidence they would win Zanzibar elections in October.
"We are determined to win the election, we are not going to enter the race as mere participants but to win. We (ACT-Wazalendo) are not an accompanying party, we are a party that want victory," said party's chairman and former CUF secretary general Seif Sharif Hamad.
The MPs and councillors who joined ACT yesterday form the largest group of defectors to join a single political party since the wave of defections started two years ago.
The main opposition Chadema has suffered big blows since early last year when several of its MPs and councillors ditched the party to join the ruling CCM, the latest being about five MPs who announced in Parliament their resolve to join CCM.
"We have good leaders who are committed to pull Tanzanians out of poverty and lead them to a life condition which a 21st-century human is supposed to live," he said.
Mr Hamad has contested for Zanzibar's presidency five times since 1995 but has lost the elections to CCM candidates. He has been insisting that he won all the elections but authorities have 'robbed' him of his victory.
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"We should understand that we are going into the elections, we should not expect a smooth ride. If the people have elected you their representative you must ensure you're declared the winner," he told score of ACT leaders and supporters.
"They are used to robbing us of our victory in Zanzibar, but today I say that is history, we are telling CCM this time you are not going to rob us our victory. There is not going to be mercy this time. I say what I mean," he said. The former CUF leader said he will next Sunday make official announcement on a subject he, however, did not disclose.
ACT party leader Zitto Kabwe told leaders of the party that the main task ahead of them was "to make sure we win and protect our Zanzibar election victory" and winning parliamentary seats and the Union presidency.
He said ACT was determined to formulate and implement policies that would ensure inclusive economy that would help create decent employments.
He also promised to embrace policies that would promote Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to enhance productivity and make Tanzania a major trade and investment hub in the Great Lakes Region. "Economy of the people is the one that forms a strong government and not the economy of the government," he said.
Free and election?
Yesterday, Mr Hamad questioned a promise President John Magufuli's made when dissolving the 11th Parliament on Tuesday that his government would ensure free and fair October General Election.
"I heard the honourable President telling us there would be a free and fair election... those are mere words. How can we have a free and fair election with this electoral commission?" he questioned.
"The electoral commission has been formed by the president who is also an aspirant in the election, he is the one who appointed commissioners and the chief executive of the commission. I tell my colleague President Magufuli that actions speak louder than words," he said.
The 21 lawmakers include: Suleiman S. Bungara, Juma Kombo Hamad, Masoud Abdallah Salim, Ally Saleh Ally Albator, Ali Salimu Khamis, Hamad Salim Maalim, Khalifa Mohamed Issa, Mohamed Juma Khatib, Twahir Awesu Mohamed, Khatib Said Haji.
Others are: Haji Khatib Kai, Othman Omar Haji, Dr Slueiman Ali Yussuf, Mbarouk Salim Ali, Nassor Suleimn Omar, Yussuf Salimu Hussein, Abdallah Haji Ali, Yussuf Haji Khamis, Mohammed Amour Mohammed and Mgeni Jadi Kadika.