Analysts chide one-sided Isles House of Reps

29Mar 2016
Lydia Shekighenda
The Guardian
Analysts chide one-sided Isles House of Reps

THE House of Representatives which assembles tomorrow in Zanzibar is a dent on Tanzania’s image as a budding democracy and a beacon of peace in Africa, analysts have said.

President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein

Interviewed by the Guardian yesterday they said that it will be difficult for the House of Representatives comprising members from one party to represent interests of all Zanzibaris.

Prof Mwesiga Baregu, lecturer at St. Augustine University of Tanzania said that the Isles House of Representative is the result of the failure by the Zanzibar and Union governments to ensure that they go for reconciliation before opting for poll rerun.

He said that forming a government comprising members from one party was against the Isles’ constitution which stipulate for an all inclusive government.

“Zanzibar’s presidential election has been facing stiff competition for years with presidential winner scooping votes with a small margin, forming a government with individuals drawn from one party may revive enmity and mistrust,” Prof Baregu said.

He said that the Government of the National Unity (GNU) was formed after realising that one party forming a government has failed to provide solutions to the Isles political differences, thus going back to the same form of government means leaving out interests of half of the Isles population.

A political commentator, Eric Mwakibete said that the one-party House of Representatives will deny interests of half of Zanzibaris who believe that they are not represented.

“This is a bad move towards promoting democracy because there is a group of people in Zanzibar who believe that they have not been given their right to elect leaders of their choice,” he said.

Mwakibete said poll rerun was not the best option for Isles politics due to its historical background. He said political standoff in Zanzibar was supposed to be addressed through reconciliation.

University of Dar es Salaam Lecturer Dr Benson Banna said that a one- party House of Representative is an about turn in Zanzibar politics, noting, however, that the government had little option.

He said an inclusive government is the best option for Zanzibar but the main opposition party Civic United Front (CUF) maintained its stand of not participating in the re-election.

Dr Banna was of the view that since President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein has the power to nominate ten members of the House of Representatives, he can use the same to pick some members from other opposition parties in the Isles.

He, however, noted that Zanzibar’s GNU was weakened even before the election because some members of the revolutionary council, especially from CUF had already resigned their posts.

Climate Change Ambassador for Tanzania Rev Prof Aidan Msafiri said that one-party House of Representatives will affect solidarity among Zanzibaris.

“The House of Representatives is supposed to be for all people, I don’t think if the new House of Representative will represent all Zainzibaris,” he said.

Top Stories