Zanzibar President, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein yesterday dismissed as wrong and misleading public perceptions that the national unity government signifies unification of the ruling party and the Civic United Front (CUF).
“Every political party has its own policies, operational principles and values,” said Dr Shein at a special ceremony organized by the ruling party to thank Zanzibaris for helping CCM win 2010 general elections.
“The formation of the national unity government does not mean that we have formed a single political party,” he clarified at a well-attended public meeting held at Demokrasia grounds in Zanzibar Urban West region.
He said that it was true that the two political parties (CCM and CUF) formed a national unity government, but each party has its rules, regulations and format of operation.
The soft-spoken Isles president said widespread perceptions that national unity government structures united the two parties were entirely misleading.
“Current principles and laws as provided in the Isles (amended) constitution oblige us (CCM and CUF) to form a national unity government to serve all Zanzibaris…but each party is free to organize, conduct its own political and related activities without being hemmed in by the current government structure,” emphasized Dr Shein, amid applause from thousands of CCM supporters gathered at the grounds.
Current democratic trends and political developments, he said, necessitated the formation of a national unity government, urging Zanzibaris to accept change because they are part of the world and Tanzania.
“Such changes are happening around the world…and Zanzibar is part of the world so it cannot escape; it has to accommodate these changes. We cannot operate in isolation,” he said.
He cautioned people or groups of people attempting to undermine workings of the operations of the current Isles government, underlining that the government “will leave no stone unturned against people trying to break the laws of the land.”
The Isles president said that the national unity government “will not hesitate to pin down anybody violating laws and regulations of the country.”
“I should insist that my government will not fear anybody who wants to be above the laws, people who want to disrupt existing peace and unity,” he emphasized.
Dr Shein described peace, harmony and unity as fundamentals in accelerating social, political and economic development of Zanzibar and Zanzibaris. He hailed the formation of the national unity government as a significant step towards a brighter future for the Isles.
He promised to maintain the principles and foundation of the Zanzibar revolution, the union between Zanzibar and the Mainland, and solve existing problematic areas in the union.
Earlier, former Zanzibar President Amani Abeid Karume, widely hailed as architect of the national unity government, said the ruling party adopted a “decent political model” by engaging the leading opposition party in the government.
“Because of the new structure, the elections were held peaceful and decently. That's why the opposition accepted the results. But CCM members should not relax; we need to get prepared and work for a landslide victory in the next elections,” the retired president declared.
Urban West regional party secretary Shija Othman Shija read a speech on behalf of three regions in Unguja (Urban West, Zanzibar North, and Zanzibar South) thanked CCM leaders and wananchi across Zanzibar for championing the party’s victory in the last elections.
“We appreciate the crucial role played by the top leaders, Dr Amani Karume, Dr. Shein and other leaders…we appreciate the crucial role played by CCM members, and all wananchi who backed the party campaigns leading to its victory,” the CCM cadre underlined.