Chadema’s presidential candidate in the October 28 General Election this year, Tundu Lissu, yesterday said reconciliation following what transpired during the polls was not a far-fetched idea but one which will depend on the motive and structure of such an initiative.
Mr Lissu made the statement when responding to questions from journalists during a Zoom interview conducted along with the leader of ACT-Wazalendo Zitto Kabwe to clarify various issues following the October 28 polls.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) declared incumbent President John Magufuli (CCM) winner by over 84.4 per cent of the valid votes cast.
Mr Lissu said the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa went for reconciliation despite over 27 years of imprisonment of it’s leader and future President, Nelson Mandela. “It is only a matter of where and how the so-called reconciliation could take place,” he said.
Lissu was responding to a question on the murmurs about ACT-Wazalendo’s invitation to participate in the Zanzibar Government of National Unity (GNU). Mr Kabwe earlier said his party had turned down the request to submit a name for the position of First Vice President as required under the law because they did not agree with the outcome of the elections.
Mr Kabwe said, however, the ultimate decision of the party’s position in Zanzibar will be made once all its decision-making structures are aligned.The two opposition leaders also gave their take on the future of democracy in Tanzania, saying any efforts to undermine pluralism in the country would fail even with the tough times ahead of opposition parties.
Mr Lissu said the task ahead for them was to hold their fort togther and encourage each other to fight for a brighter future. He appealed for members of the regional and international organisations to weigh down on the government to respect the tenets of democracy and rule of law. Lissu suggested targeted sanctions on individuals who undermined human rights in Tanzania.
Regarding when he was planning to return home from Belgium where he went for medical attention, Mr Lissu - who doubles as his party’s vice chairman for the Mainland - said it was too early to know, because he had not even completed the 14 -day Covid-19-related mandatory quarantine in Belgium.
However, he said it will also depend on whether he’d be assured of his safety by the authorities, and dropping what he termed ‘bogus criminal charges’ against him. He would also expect an explanation on why the CCTV cameras were removed from the scene of his assassination attempt in 2017.
“The government should also say what progress has been made in investing the incident,” he said.
Yesterday Mr Kabwe said of any suggested talks in Zanzibar: “I’m not in a position of stating whether we will be part of the GNU or not because the party has to conclude final rounds of consultations which will involve meetings of party high level organs.”
He said it won’t be the first time to be in the GNU, likewise it won’t be the first time to stay away, reminding that in 2016, CUF boycotted repeat polls after cancellation of 2015 polls, therefore excluding them from the unity government.