The three ministers from dwarf political parties that took part in the controversial March 20 rerun election have teamed up with other new faces of 8 ministers with their 7 deputies and two ministers with special duties to form Shein’s equally controversial “Government of National Unity.”
Some of those who served deputy ministers in the previous administration have been promoted to ministerial positions.
The three ministers from opposition camp include Hamad Rashid Mohamed from Alliance Democratic Change -ADC who leads the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries assisted by deputy Lulu Msham Khamis, while both Said Soud Said from AFP and Juma Ali Khatib from ADA-TADEA are ministers without portfolio.
Other members of the new cabinet with ministries in brackets are Issa Haji Ussi (President’s Office and Chairman of Revolutionary Government), Haruna Ali Suleiman (President’s Office-Constitution, Justice, Public Services and Good Governance ) whose deputy is Juma Khamis Maalim, Haji Omar Kheir (President’s Office- Regional Administration, Local Governments and Special Department) and Mohamed Aboud Mohamedb (State Minister-Second Vice President’s Office).
Others are Dr Khalid Salim Mohamed (Finance and Planning), Mahmoud Thabit Kombo (Health) and deputy Harusi Said Suleiman, Riziki Pembe Juma (Education and Vocational) backed by deputy Mmanga Mjengo Mjawiri.
The list also includes former Union hopeful presidential candidate Ambassador Amina Salum Ali (Industry, Trade and Marketing), Ambassador Ali Abeid Karume (Works, Transport and Communication) backed by deputy Mohamed Ahmed Salum, Rashid Ali Juma (Information,Tourism, Cultural, Arts and Sports) and his deputy Choum Kombo Khamis.
Others include Moulin Castico (Labour, Empowerment,Youth, Elders, Women and Children) and Salama Aboud Twalib (Land,Water,Energy and Environment) while her deputy is Juma Makunga Juma.
Prior to unveiling the new cabinet Dr Shein said he reserved the rights to fire and punish any cabinet member or deputy who fails the office and stressed on his government’s resort to protect the citizenry and provide opportunities to all Zanzibaris.
“The government I have formed will be based on transparency and accuracy,” he said, adding that the entrusted leaders should remember that their primary duty is to work for the people in fostering development.
Detailing on the new faces in the cabinet and deputies ministers, Dr Shein said it was not cardinal that a former minister should be reinstated or retake the position when there are many others who are equally qualified to render the services.
He based his appointment on ones’ background, qualifications and commitments as major criteria in selecting his cabinet, he said, adding “for those formers ministers or deputies, there are a lot of vacancies in the government to which they may be assigned.”
He defended his decision to appoint former presidential candidates from the opposition camp, saying that his government saw a need to work with them in bringing about real development.
Asked about re-amending some sections in the 2010 constitutional amendment that led to the Government of National Unity (GNU), Dr Shein noted that there was no problem with the constitution, but with political parties that had failed to secure the 10 per cent minimum required to share the powers.
Speaking on donation, he maintained that his government will increase tax collection to fill in the budget gap, stressing that Zanzibar as a sovereign state would not accept any aid to which strings were attached.
But Dr Bashiru Ally, a political scientist from the University of Dar es Salaam branded Shein’s involvement of opposition members in his government as cheap political manouvre designed at proving his readiness to work with any person irrespective of political alignment.
“A few days ago these former presidential candidates from the opposition were nominated to the House of Representative to pave for a constitutional way for ministerial position and a token government of the national unity,” Dr Ally, adding that the kind of government was buried on the very day when CCM and CUF were entangled in October 25 post-election impasse.
“Nullification of October election results which was followed by CUF refusal to take part in the rerun marked the collapse of GNU. The appointment of a few opposition members to the cabinet or the Revolutionary Council does not end the Zanzibar political impasse or justify existence of GNU,” he said.