THE government has expressed dismay at the Civic United Front Governing Council (CUF-GC) jubilation over sanctions imposed on the country.
The only known sanction is that of the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) - suspension of its partnership and release of Compact Two funds amounting to 470 million US dollars for funding electricity projects to Tanzania.
The Minister in the Vice- President’s Office, Union Affairs, Mr January Makamba, told the ‘Daily News’ that the move by the opposition party, shows that, “we as Africans have a long way to go to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery.’’ Mr Makamba said the CUF-GC stand shows that there are political parties in the country that rely on foreign pressure to organise their grievances.
“Tanzania still enjoys good relations with many countries and we continue to talk with our development partners...but there are certain things that should bring the country together and one of those things is being dictated to by foreign Capitals, being sanctioned...Our sovereignty is more important than our ideological differences,” he noted.
In Zanzibar, members of the CUF-GC have resolved to continue using diplomatic and peaceful ways to exert pressure on the Zanzibar government to improve democracy in the islands. “We had a two-day meeting to discuss the political development in Zanzibar - before and after the March 20, 2016 controversial general election re-run.
Our resolutions include not recognising the new government in the Isles in the belief that it lacks legitimacy,” said Mr Twaha Taslima, CUF-GC Interim National Chairman. Unveiling the CUF-GC resolutions to reporters at a press conference held yesterday at the party’s Vuga Street offices, Mr Taslima mentioned other declarations as welcoming ‘aid slash’ to Tanzania by donors due to the political crisis in the Islands.
“We are happy with the economic sanctions on Tanzania, but ask the international unity to act tougher so that we could revert to smooth democracy,” said Mr Taslima. He added that members of the governing council also condemned the ongoing violation of human rights by unidentified armed group of people as the police remain silent.
Members of CUF-GC from both Zanzibar and Tanzania Mainland said that poor people stand to be much more affected by the donor withdrawal. “But it is one of the workable ways to make leaders follow and observe the principles of democracy,” they pointed out.
At the press conference, CUF Secretary General and the party’s Isles presidential candidate, Mr Seif Sharif Hamad, reiterated that he was not ready to work with President Ali Mohamed Shein’s administration and the Isles legislature.
“I will not accept any invitation to the State House as there is nothing to discuss about political impasse after the collapse of the first dialogue between me and Dr Shein,” said Mr Hamad who recently had health complications, confirmed that medical doctors have advised him to have a long body rest.
He said it was a disappointment that ‘Government of National Unity (GNU)’ has not been possible, as the party legal advisor and immediate former minister of Constitutional and Legal affairs, Mr Abubakar Khamis Bakary, said there was no room for GNU.
“Political crisis caused by lack of willingness to implement true democracy has led to unnecessary constitutional crisis. No political party other than CCM, won seats in the House, therefore GNU is quite impossible,” said Mr Bakary, a prominent lawyer.
Meanwhile, President Shein has emphasised on strengthening relations with the American people because they have been good partners in development since the year 1844. He made the remarks during a brief meeting with the Tanzania Ambassador to the United States, Mr Wilson Masilingi.
Dr Shein said that the bilateral relations between the US and Zanzibar has benefitted the latter in various development programmes, which include controlling the spread of malaria (prevalence from 45 per cent down to the current 0.6 per cent).
“The US has contributed to the development of infrastructure, health and energy in the Isles. We thank and ask you to play your role as an ambassador to strengthen our relations,” Dr Shein was quoted telling Mr Masilingi.
The envoy, who later met with the Second Vice President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi, promised that his stay in the US would benefit Tanzania and Zanzibar economically and socially. “We need more investors from the US to come and invest in our country,” he said.
Ambassador Iddi commented that the TanZANIA/US Relations will remain stronger. “We only need to make sure that executives working for the Aid International institutions understand our political climate, particularly Zanzibar, for people’s development.”
Mr Iddi said that some executives have been taking side, contrary to diplomacy principles and elections are over, “every citizen has to turn to work for the development of Zanzibar.”