By Bilal Abdul-aziz
26th June, 2009
Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda says he is optimistic that the bad incident of deaths and displacement of people that occurred in 2001 in the fallout to the 2000 general elections in Zanzibar won’t repeat.
He said this yesterday in the National Assembly when responding to a question by Hamad Rashind Mohamed (Wawi, CUF) during the direct questions to the Prime Minister session.
Hamad, who also doubles as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament had wanted to know what the government was doing to prevent the repetition of the 2001 incidents after a peaceful demonstration staged in Pemba by the opposition CUF.
CUF, understood to have a stronghold in Pemba, organised a peaceful demonstration against 2000 election results, but when police intervened, it turned violent, resulting to deaths and displacement of over 2,000 people to Shimoni area in the neighbouring Kenya.
“I think the incident was situational…it’s not right to believe that it will happen again. And if it’s situational, it’s not necessary to start believing that it is going to happen again.
Therefore, we don’t need to devise a specific system for preventing it from repeating,” said Pinda.
However, he said he would pick the caution by the lawmaker, and said would direct Home Affairs ministry to take precautionary measures to ensure that if anything, the incidents did not happen again.
Responding to a supplementary question posed by Salim Hemed Khamis (Chambani, CUF) on compensation for the victims of the 2000 election fallout, Pinda said the issue had partly already been dealt with.
However, on a point of clarification later on, the Leaders of the Opposition camp in the House informed that the compensation issue, which has remained for about 8 years, was still unresolved.
Meanwhile, Premier Pinda informed the Parliament that a team formed to investigate into the fallout of cattle displacement exercise last year, had handed over its report to him and “he was working on it.”
However, he said the report would assist stakeholders in the livestock sector to look for long term solutions to the persistent problem.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN