Civic United Front (CUF) secretary general Seif Shariff Hamad has said he is not ready to argue with party leaders who oppose his leadership saying party activities are conducted in accordance with constitutional procedures.
Speaking to journalists in the Isles Information Department (Maelezo) offices yesterday, the historic Zanzibar opposition leader said the only appropriate forum to criticize each other, as leaders and members, is as provided by constitutional forums.
“If Seif is found guilty, then he should be sent to the general council. I am not ready to exchange words with Hamad Rashid unless it is at the proper meetings,” he said.
He said the party constitution provides that every member has the right to vie for any leadership position within the party, only that one should wait until the general internal election to be held in 2014.
“It is the right of every member to run for leadership, if qualified of course, but then he or she should wait until the general election,” said Maalim Seif, intoning that “fundamentally there is no dispute within the party.”
Maalim Seif trashed the accusation that he doesn’t tolerate criticism saying he has often times been challenged in party leadership, and he never questioned anyone for exercising a member’s right to contest for leadership.
In regard to comments that the general secretary is grooming Mjikongwe representative Ismail Jussa Ladhu to succeed him, Maalim Seif called the comments baseless and that the gossip has a hidden agenda.
He reminded reporters that since the party’s establishment, different individuals have held leadership positions which they earned through contest and that he himself acquired the position through members’ votes and without favor.
As to whether what Hamad Rashid is doing is right, criticizing the party outside proper sittings, that will be decided at the general council’s meetings.
Maalim Seif used the occasion to outline some achievements and challenges that the Government of National Unity (GoNU) has encountered in its one year of existence.
He said although there are still some challenges, especially in economic issues, political calmness in the Isles was one of the biggest achievements.
Many people’s lives are yet to be satisfactorily improved and that amongst other factors contributing is currency depreciation, piracy around the Horn of Africa area and climate change, especially in countries whose agriculture is tied to food crop plantations.
“Currency depreciation has numbed government efforts to meet the citizens’ expectations to ease their life hardships,” the Isles First Vice President noted.
He challenged local government executive officers and the Ministry of Public Service and Good Governance in particular to take responsibility to raise public awareness on the Government of National Unity.
In regard to the civil identity cards, Maalim Seif said denying some citizens identity cards is to disobey the Zanzibar’s president order that every citizen has the right to possess one.
Maalim Seif was optimistic that the system of Government of National Unity will remain in the Isles for a while, as restoring the previous winner-takes-all format would bring fresh instability in the Isles.