The Government is proceeding rapidly with implementation of the 52-page agreement signed on October 10 2001 between the two parties in Zanzibar (see TA No.71) which has transformed the previously tense political environment in Zanzibar.
PRAISE FROM PEACE FORUM
Addressing a meeting of the International Peace Forum in New York, the architects of the agreement, CCM Secretary General Philip Mang’ula and CUF Secretary General Seif Shariff Hamad were praised for reaching the agreement themselves without outside mediation. The process they had gone through could be used in resolving other international conflicts they were told. Tanzanian Ambassador to the United Nations Mr Mwakawago suggested that the two parties might now help resolve religious conflicts in Tanzania.
The following steps have been taken to implement the accord according to the Guardian and the Express:
– President Mkapa formed on January 16 a COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY to investigate the killings of the CUF demonstrators The Commission’s terms of reference include the investigation, without bias, of the cause of the events; the consequences; whether there is need to offer humanitarian aid to those affected; and, to make proposals on reconciliation. The Commission will also propose to the government steps that should be taken so that such happenings do not recur. Brigadier General (rtd) Hashim I. Mbita is the chairman of the team and Phillip Mcamanga the secretary. The Commission started work on March 25 and is required to present its report by July 31.
– The Zanzibar House of Representatives, meeting in Pemba on April 9 was due to pass an eighth amendment to the constitution under which an INDEPENDENT ELECTION COMMISSION under a Chairperson with legal qualifications equivalent to those of a judge, would be set up. Members would include two nominated by the government, and two nominated by the leader of the opposition. The Bill said that every Zanzibari should be granted a right to vote regardless of the time he or she had been living in the area where she or he had registered as a voter. This schedule aimed at quashing the previous rule which required a person to live in a particular area for five consecutive years in order to qualify as a voter. The changes also required the creation of a permanent voters register. The amendments would also set down principles separating the powers of the executive, legislature and judiciary. They said that all government organs and its servants would be governed in accordance with international conventions on human rights and principles of good governance. This change follows prolonged complaints that the government has been intervening in decisions made by the courts. For the first time Zanzibar will have its own Director of Public Prosecutions who will be appointed by the President to hold the post for five year periods extendable. STOP PRESS -The Bill was passed on April 17th.
– Zanzibar President Karume has set up a COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE COMPLAINTS BY WORKERS AND CIVIL SERVANTS WHO ALLEGED THAT THEY HAD BEEN DISMISSED FOR POLITICAL REASONS. In view of the large number claiming compensation within the first few days (some 1,500) the Commission’s Chairman, Jaffa Ali Juma, said that workers would have to bring genuine evidence regarding their sacking.
– By-elections in 16 parliamentary seats now vacant because the CUF MP’s were expelled following a boycott will be held next year.
– President Mkapa has nominated an additional CUF MP to the National Assembly in Dodoma.
– For the first time CUF members attended a party given by President Karume in February.
But, according to the Guardian, four other opposition parties have objected to their non-inclusion in the discussions about the Zanzibar Agreement and have threatened to challenge the agreement in a court of law -Guardian.