Tanzania: Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad's Life and Zanzibar Politics (1943-2021)

Graffiti in Tanzania raising awareness about Covid-19.

Mr. Seif Sharif Hamad, popularly known as Maalim Seif was born at Nyali, Mtambwe in Wete, Pemba (Zanzibar's sister island) on October 22, 1943.

After completing his primary education in 1957 in Pemba, he joined King George VI Memorial Secondary School where he attained his Ordinary and Advanced Level Secondary Education in 1961 and 1963 respectively.

According to ACT-Wazalendo party wordpress page https://hakinaumma.wordpress.com, after the January 1964 Revolution, which saw many foreigners and other civil servants leaving the islands, Mr. Hamad was asked by the new government to join the teaching profession to fill the vacuum.

He taught for eight years at Lumumba College and Fidel Castro Secondary School located in Unguja and Pemba islands respectively.

In 1972 he was part of the first group of Zanzibari students to be sponsored by the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar to join the University of Dar es Salaam. He graduated in 1975 with a first class Bachelor of Arts degree (Honors) in Political Science, Public Administration and International Relations.

Mr. Hamad served briefly as a Personal Assistant to the President of Zanzibar, then Mr. Aboud Jumbe (1975 - 1977) before he was appointed Minister of Education, a position he served for three years (1977 - 1980).

From 1977 - 1987, he was a member of the National Executive Committee and the Central Committee of the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi . He became the head of the ruling party's Economic and Planning Department for five years (1982 - 1987).

In February 1984, Mr. Hamad was appointed as the Chief Minister of Zanzibar by Mr. Ali Hassan Mwinyi who was installed as the new president following Jumbe's resignation. He retained the same position during the first half of Mr. Idris Abdul Wakil's presidency before he was dropped in a cabinet reshuffle in January 1988.

In 1992, when Tanzania amended its constitution to pave the way for a multi-party system, Mr. Hamad, together with colleagues, formed a new party, the Civic United Front (CUF) and was elected its first National Vice Chairman. 1n 1999, the CUF National Congress meeting in Dar es Salaam, elected him as the Secretary General of the party.

From 1995 to 2015, Maalim Seif represented CUF as its Presidential candidate for Zanzibar. He ditched CUF to join ACT-Wazalendo Party. Represented his new party in the 2020 General Election as Presidential Candidate in Zanzibar.

He became the first President of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar following the performance of his party in the election.

On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi declared the death of the First First Vice President of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad.

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