Peace move ‘not a CCM initiative’

By The Citizen Reporter

Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) leaders, especially those from the Mainland, have been asked to keep off the reconciliation process initiated by Zanzibaris.

Civic United Front (CUF) director of foreign affairs Ismail Jussa told The Citizen yesterday that CCM leaders should remain on the sidelines “because they don�t know what is going

He said the likes of CCM secretary general Yusuf Makamba, publicity secretary John Chiligati and propagandist Kingunge Ngombale-Mwiru should let Zanzibari leaders conclude the reconciliation process “without interference”.

“These people should not and cannot comment because they have neither the mandate nor understanding of the matter,” Mr Jussa said,

The message came amid intense speculation on what Zanzibar President Amani Abeid Karume and CUF secretary-general Seif Shariff Hamad agreed during their closed-door meeting in Zanzibar last Thursday.

Sources at Zanzibar State House and CUF yesterday refused to reveal what the two leaders discussed, only saying that whatever was agreed was in the best interests of Zanzibar and Zanzibaris.

Mr Jussa, who accompanied Mr Hamad to State House for the talks, told The Citizen that CCM did not initiate the reconciliation, and the party�s officials should not interfere.

“What is going on has been initiated by Zanzibaris themselves and is in the best interests of their country. We have decided to try a different approach this time around in the hope of fostering cohesion among Zanzibaris,” he said.

Mr Jussa said whatever had been agreed had nothing to do with earlier initiatives that culminated in the Mwafaka accord between CCM and CUF.

“What is happening has nothing to do with Mwafaka. In fact, Mwafaka has negative connotations as far as we are concerned.”

Mr Jussa said the idea was mooted by people who thought beyond party politics, and who advised both parties on the most effective way to end the longstanding political stalemate in Zanzibar.

He said during the consultations, experiences from other countries that had similar problems were considered “and we opted for a paradigm shift as embraced in South Africa”.

“We have decided to do away with ‘give and take’ approach because it has proved to be a failure and examples can be drawn from Kenya and Zimbabwe,” Mr Jussa said.

Speaking cautiously, he said CUF had no doubt that President Karume was committed to go all the way to achieve what had been agreed.

“I want to tell those who have been pressing for President Karume to come out and speak to take note that the first statement regarding this new development was issued by the State House, which represents President Karume,” he said.

Source: The Citizen, 11 November 2009

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