Now CUF calls for complete citizen boycott of Isles govt activities

02Jun 2016
David Kisanga
The Guardian
Now CUF calls for complete citizen boycott of Isles govt activities

A day after police detectives here interrogated CUF secretary general and former first vice president Seif Sharif Hamad over alleged inciting remarks he made recently,

Nassor Ahmed Mazrui

the opposition party yesterday called on its supporters to boycott Zanzibar government activities and stop transacting any business with people aligned to the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

Addressing a well-attended public rally here, CUF deputy secretary general Nassor Ahmed Mazrui urged followers in both Unguja and Pemba islands to put their collective weight behind the party’s vow to never back down in its cold war against the archipelago’s CCM-led government.

Mazrui asserted that CUF and its members still maintain the party’s candidate (Hamad) was the real winner in last year’s presidential general election which was annulled midway through in controversial circumstances.

The election was reheld in March this year with incumbent Isles president Ali Mohamed Shein gaining an easy win on the back of a blanket CUF boycott.

Stating that it was inappropriate to say there is good governance in Zanzibar, Mazrui told the CUF supporters at yesterday’s rally: “You should continue with civil disobedience and stop supporting the government in any activities, be it business or service provision.”

He called on them to adhere by the party’s instructions including keeping their shops closed if necessary and refusing to serve CCM members if they do open.

“We urge our supporters to address Hamad as their chosen president because CCM’s choice was rejected in the (October 2015) election,” Mazrui added.

Addressing the same rally, Hamad explained what transpired during his three-hour police interrogation on Tuesday over his recent remarks that touched on the disputed election.

He said the police had thought he would have been afraid to respond to their summons, asserting that “I was more than strong and ready to be taken into custody.”

He said there are currently two presidents in Zanzibar whereas he – and not Dr Shein - is the chosen one by the majority of voters in last October’s election “and even the international community recognizes it.”

The only way to remove Dr Shein from power would be for Zanzibaris to deliberately snub the government in subtle ways like refusing to support its development projects, pay its taxes, or show cooperation with any of its officials, the CUF supremo stated.

“Whatever it takes, we will make sure that this government can’t operate smoothly as it was not voted into power by the will of the majority,” he stressed, adding that he was ready to sacrifice his own life by peaceful means just to ensure the Shein government collapses before the next election scheduled for 2020.

On the government’s recently-announced budget estimates for the 2016/2017 fiscal year, Hamad expressed puzzlement as to where the funds required to implement government operations was expected to come from without sufficient donor support.

“It is ridiculous to hear of the government’s many plans for development projects when the donors have refused to disburse money into the budget and contribute to these projects,” he said.

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