The Civic United Front (CUF) was formed on 28th May 1992 when Tanzania amended its Constitution to accommodate the multi-party contention. Prior to that, Tanzania was for more than twenty five years a mono-party state.
The CUF is a merger of two formerly existing movements, viz: – KAMAHURU – a pressure group for democratization in Zanzibar and the CIVIC MOVEMENT – a human rights organization from the Mainland.
The CUF is a national party with Mr. James Mapalala as the national Chairman from the mainland, and Mr. Seif Sharif Hamad and Mr. Shaaban Khamis Mloo as Vice Chairman and Secretary General respectively, both hailing from Zanzibar. It received its full registration on the 21st January 1993 after fulfilling all the condition required by the law and has its Headquarters in Zanzibar and a head office in Dar es Salaam.
Apart from the top officials, there are eight Departments constituting the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the party. Each department in headed by a Director and a Deputy Director. The departments are as follows:
- Department of Organization
- Department of Finance and Economic Affairs
- Department of Information and Publicity
- Department of Foreign Affairs
- Department of Human Rights
- Department of Parliamentary and Legal Affairs
- Department of Youths Affairs
- Department of Women and Children’s Affairs
Since the legalization of the functioning of extra-parliamentary opposition political parties in Tanzania, more than twenty parties have been formed and have so far received provisional registration. Of these, only ten have so far attained full registration. Although CUF was the 15th to get a provisional registration, it was nevertheless the first to apply and obtain a full registration.
CUF has popular grass-root support in Zanzibar. Among all the political parties, its only CUF that has gained the reputation of being the only party with a credible, serious and authentic national leadership. It is only CUF that can really claim to have a wide spectrum of leaders who have a proven record of integrity, competence, temperance and commitment to the ideal of a better Zanzibar.
But despite the green light for extra-parliamentary political activity, the political atmosphere as existing today (especially in Zanzibar) is charged with racial animosity and flagrant political intrigues perpetrated by the CCM government – examples of which are numerous. However, this has not deterred the CUF from pursuing the path of ‘peace at any cost’. Toward this end, the CUF extends its hand of friendship and co-operation with any country or organization struggling to achieve similar goals – viz. genuine democracy and true JUSTICE.
(WITHER ZANZIBAR?), A 1993 Publication by the CUF Department of Information and Publicity dedicated to the Peoples of Zanzibar in their Struggle for Democracy