ACT-WAZALENDO FINALLY ACCEPTS ZANZIBAR GNU

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Author: BERNARD LUGONGO
AfricaPress-Tanzania: THE opposition ACT-Wazalendo has finally agreed to be part of Zanzibar’s Government of National Unity (GNU) after nearly 40 days of dilemma.

Party’s Secretary General Ado Shaibu said the Central Committee (CC) that convened in Dar es Salaam on Saturday resolved to allow members of the House of Representatives, Members of Parliament, and councillors to represent the party and voters.

According to Mr Shaibu, following the Central Committee’s instruction, the party’s leadership committee met and proposed the name of a member, who will serve as Zanzibar’s First Vice-President in the Isles’ eight-phase government, under Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi. He said the name would be unveiled later.

The 2006 Zanzibar Constitution put mechanisms for establishment of the GNU.

Article 9 (3) of the Constitution states; ‘the structure of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar or any of its organs and the discharge of its functions shall be so effected as to take into account the need to promote national unity in the country and the overall goal of attaining democracy.’

Mr Shaibu said the CC had carefully considered the political situation in Zanzibar, and decided to put voters’ interests first. “The CC has reached this decision after making careful analysis, interests of voters and Zanzibaris in general have been given the first priority,” he noted.

According to him, the consultations involved scores of members of the party, who unanimously advised the party to take that decision.

The party has a total of four elected MPs for the National Assembly and four others for the Zanzibar House of Representatives.

The party stated that it came to its knowledge that it was unwise for only leaders to make decisions without hearing from members.

“We have done this in order to heal our nation, bringing light and putting national interests and the interests of Zanzibaris first,” Mr Shaibu stated.

“We need visionary leaders who are capable of thinking and planning for a better nation…this is what we call a good quality of leadership,” he added.

After swearing in as Zanzibar President last month, Dr Hussein Mwinyi said the slot was open for the ACT-Wazalendo to send a name for the post of the First Vice -President as per the Zanzibar Constitution which requires formation of GNU.

Dr Mwinyi who contested on the ruling CCM won the Zanzibar presidential polls after garnering 76.27 per cent of the total votes cast.

Dr Mwinyi went on to form 15 ministries but appointed 13 ministers and left the ministry of health, community development, gender and children and that of trade and industry development vacant, waiting for the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT Wazalendo) to fill them.

The constitution of Zanzibar requires the presidential winner to form the GNU with the party that gets at least 10 per cent of the votes.

ACT-Wazalendo has decided to take a different route from its close allies- Chadema, which has so far refused to give blessings to its legislators to join the 12th Parliament following the conclusion of the 2020 General Election.

Chadema recently disowned its 19 female members who decided to take oath before the Speaker of the National Assembly Job Ndugai to assume positions of Special Seats MPs.

During the previous election campaigns, Chadema and ACT-Wazalendo backed up each other, especially for the Union and Zanzibar presidential polls.

ACT-Wazalendo Presidential candidate for Zanzibar Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad declared his support for Chadema’s Union presidential candidate, Mr Tundu Lissu, though on the face of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) was something against the laws governing elections.

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