By Mwinyi Sadallah, Zanzibar
Barely a day after Zimbabwe`s political parties opened a new chapter by agreeing to form a government of national unity, Tanzania`s major opposition party, the Civic United Front says the only way to solve Zanzibar`s political dispute is power sharing. CUF Secretary General Seif Sharif Hamad proposes that if the president comes from the ruling party, then his deputy, who is the Chief Minister should come from the opposition side, following the system adopted in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Speaking to this paper in Zanzibar yesterday, following Zimbabwe`s power sharing deal, he said CUF has no problem with sharing power because that is the only way to foster national unity.
“This political divide needs power sharing as the only way to bring to an end the long standing political conflict in this island,” said Hamad.
Zanzibar’s political problems started after the 1995 first multi-party general elections when the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) won by 50.2 per cent while CUF got 49.8 per cent.
Two accords reached between the two rival parties have not succeeded to resolve the conflict.
Seif urged political leaders particularly those from the ruling party, CCM to learn from the Zimbabwe deal by putting national interests above all else in order to end the dispute.
“Nothing is impossible on solving this issue. The problem is with our colleagues, CCM, who do not have the will to end this political divide,” he said.
Seif said basically negotiating committee which was led by Kingunge Ngombale Mwiru and Hamad Rashid had finished its duty and that what remained was implementation of the agreed issues.
“I join hands with all those congratulating the African Union chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, but I would like to remind him not to forget that in his own country there is a problem of the same nature,” said Seif.
He however ruled out CUF going back to the negotiating table using the Kingunge and Hamad Rashid system because it has shown weaknesses.
SOURCE: Guardian (http://www.ippmedia.com/ipp/guardian/2008/09/17/122763.html)