ZANZIBAR

The CUF opposition continues to press for change in the isles and in particular, for new elections under international control. The party organised peaceful mass demonstration in Dar es Salaam and Pemba in early November to press for talks with the government. The party is still hoping that President Kikwete will intervene as he promised to do after his election in 2005. Meanwhile Zanzibar President Amani Karume, whose election is not accepted by CUF, said that there was no question of a new election nor a coalition government but that he was prepared to meet and talk with the National Chairman of CUF, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba. Karume said “By admitting that CCM got 53% in the last elections, Lipumba is in fact conceding defeat and recognising my government. There is now no reason why we can’t meet and talk” – Nipashe.

Majira reported that Registrar of Political Parties, John Tendwa, had said he would help President Kikwete in resolving the political impasse. Talking to the press after meeting leaders of 18 parties, he said he had decided to revive the reconciliation council that was formed by CUF and CCM following the signing of the Muafaka agreement. He said he was prepared to provide funding so as to reconvene the council that had been inactive for a long time. Although outwardly the situation seemed to be calm the differences were simmering. Most of the parties complained to Tendwa that they are stopped by CUF from doing political work in Pemba. Tendwa reminded CUF that the island might be their stronghold but it was not their private property. He recommended a coalition government as a way out of the current crisis. He also suggested that some ministers could be stationed in Pemba.

The Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) said in its October 2006 recent report on the disputed October 2005 elections, that there had been discrepancies, such as underage voters and others voting twice, but that these did not alter the election result. The Commission said that most of the discrepancies occurred after not before or during the polls. The ZEC Chairman Massuni declined to explain why the commission took almost a year to prepare its report. Other problems included interference by local government officials and public confusion over election regulations. Local officials (Shehas) also interfered in the registration of voters. ZEC officers tried to stop this from happening but they were overpowered. In Pemba there were gross irregularities, with some people registering twice. However, on the whole, the polls took place in a peaceful and orderly manner – CUF spokesman Salim Bimani, said that his party maintained its position that the October 2005 elections were not free and fair – Tanzania Daima.

A total of 123,443 foreign tourists visited Zanzibar in 2005, an increase of 26% as against the previous 12 months. Most came from Italy and the USA as well as from Asian and African countries. Tourism revenues had increased to one fifth of Zanzibar’s GDP last year and it is expected that tourism will account for up to 23% of the annual GDP by the year of 2010 – Sunday Observer.

The anti-malaria campaign is reported to be having considerable success. Health clinics have reported a marked decrease in the incidence of malaria in Zanzibar with the completion of the first phase of the campaign, a 54-day Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) effort that ended on 9 September. The incidence of malaria in Zanzibar has fallen from 54% in 2003 to 31% at the end of 2005, according to government records as a result of the use of treated mosquito nets.
The recent initiative had cost at least US $2 million and reached 240,000 homes, or 90% of all homes on the island, according to the government. USAID reported however that the spraying campaign – using a 10-percent solution of the chemical lamda-cyhalothrin, known as ICON – was focussed only on those mosquitoes on walls inside people’s homes and that most mosquitoes were found outside.

Before being approved as regular settlers, mainland Tanzanians will have to get special residents’ permits. These will be issued by local officials (Shehas) from their place of residence. The aim is to ensure public security by curbing the random entry of ‘foreigners’. All Zanzibaris have been given IDs which they have to keep with them all the time. Zanzibaris without IDs will be arrested and prosecuted and will face a maximum of one year of imprisonment and/or a fine of Shs 100,000. So far 493,375 Zanzibaris have been registered and given the IDs – Nipashe.

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