Ambassadors challenge Zanzibar to resolve impasse

06Jan 2016
David Kisanga
The Guardian
Ambassadors challenge Zanzibar to resolve impasse

AMBASSADORS representing The Netherlands and Norway in Tanzania have called upon the government of Zanzibar to quickly resolve the political impasse in the Island, reminding that “political stability is a prerequisite for the development and prosperity of the Isles.

ZEC Chairman, Jecha Salim Jecha

The envoys, Jaap Frederiks of The Netherlands and Hanne Marie Kaarstad of Norway said here yesterday that the stalled electoral process was a source of great concern for their countries.

The challenge was thrown by the two before the Zanzibar President, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein during the laying of two foundation stones of the pediatric ward and maternal and neonatal wards at Mnazi Mmoja hospital whereby the project is being financed by the government of Norway and Netherlands.

“We however together with other international partners deeply concerned about the political impasse. After the election process,” stressed the Royal Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Hanne Marie Kaarstad.

She noted that the ongoing talks between the parties (CCM and CUF) would be of political maturity hoping that the two sides will set the interest of Zanzibaris and not their parties.

However, she said that Zanzibaris should demonstrate their ability to find lasting solutions dialogue citing 2010 when the agreement on the Government of National Unity (GNU) was reached between the parties and entered into Constitution.

Kaarstad added that, ‘peace must be maintained for the people to prosper.’

The Norwegian Ambassador commended the leadership of both main parties in Zanzibar for maintaining peace during and not least after the October 25 General Election.

She pointed that it was essential to cooperate and build on full respect for democratic values and principles in such a process to lay the found for a sustainable peace.

According to Kaarstad, Norway has over many years and on different levels supported dialogue between different groups in Zanzibar.

She said her government also been supporting initiatives that seek to strengthen the rights of all Zanzibaris and will continue to do that in the future.

Commenting the matter, Netherlands Ambassador, Jaap Frederiks commended Zanzibaris for their patience while awaiting the outcome of the political consultations between the two parties after the suspension of the tallying of the election results.

“I trust these consultations will produce an outcome that fully respects the integrity of the electoral process and will reflect the spirit of the
Government of National Unity as enshrined in Zanzibar’s constitution,”

On October last year, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairman.
Jecha Salim Jecha announced to nullify the General Election citing what he described as “shortfalls” included differences among ZEC members, with some having turned representatives of their respective parties.

Jecha also cited “a number of irregularities, especially in Pemba”, with the number of votes cast at some polling stations exceeding that of voters registered for the election.

Following the decision to call off the election, the international community called ZEC to reconsider the decision to nullify the results of the Zanzibar presidential election, saying the poll was held in an orderly and peaceful manner as declared by observers.

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