Posts tagged as: hamad

Ndugai Blamed for Swearing in CUF Legislators

By Louis Kolumbia

Dar es Salaam — A day after the parliament sworn in seven Special Seats MPs from the Civic United Front (CUF), a faction, which is led by secretary general Seif Shariff Hamad, has come forward condemning the National Assembly Speaker, Job Ndugai for okaying the action.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, faction’s acting Deputy Director of Information and Public Communications Mbarara Maharagande said Mr Ndugai erred because appointment of the special seat MPs was contrary to the party’s constitution and the country’s legal frameworks.

“Mr Ndugai has lost qualities of being the National Assembly speaker, who is entrusted with the obligations to promote rule of law and democracy in the country. He needs to assess himself whether he deserves to continue serving the people in his position,” he said.

Faction’s lawyer Mr Hashim Mziray said CUF constitution demanded that members unsatisfied with Supreme Governing Council decisions challenge such decisions at party’s general meeting.

“MPs claimed to have their membership stripped off challenged Prof Lipumba’s decisions before the general meeting. Also, they filed petition at the High Court. The Parliament was supposed to wait decision from the two institutions,” he said.

Those sworn in on Tuesday are; Rukia Ahmed Kassim, Shamsia Aziz Mtamba, Kiza Hussein Mayeye, Zainab Mndolwa Amir, Sonia Jumaa Magogo, Alfredina Apolinary Kahigi and Nuru Awadh Bafadhili. Ms Hindu Hamis Mwenda died few days ago.

They replace Savelina Silvanus Mwijage, Saumu Heri Sakala, Salma Mohamed Mohamed, Riziki Shahari Mngwali, Raisa Abdallah Mussa, Miza Bakari Haji, Khadija Al-Qassmy and Halima Mohamed who were stripped of their membership due to alleged poor conduct.

Upon his return from Nigeria, Qatar and Iran, Mr Ndugai promised to swear in the MPs saying the office of Registrar of Political Parties told him that Ms Magdalena Sakaya replaced Mr Hamad who ceased to serve as party secretary general.

“Therefore, nothing from Mr Hamad is considered unless the office of the registrar of political parties provide another information,” he said.

CCM National Executive Council (NEC) Secretary of Political Affairs and International Relations, Mr Ngemela Lubinga told The Citizen in an exclusive interview that CUF is in trouble because of premature politics.

“There is no logic involving CCM in the CUF dispute. How can educated people like Prof Lipumba and Mr Hamad be used to sabotage their party” he questioned.

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Lipumba Defends NEC in Row Over Nominated MPs

By Louis Kolumbia Lkolumbia@tz. Nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam — The embattled CUF chairman, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba on Tuesday defended the National Electoral Commission’s endorsement of the new Special Seats legislators, saying the procedures and CUF constitution were followed during their nomination.

Last month NEC approved the nomination of eight CUF Special Seats positions after the previous MPs had their party membership scrapped on allegations of indiscipline and sabotage. The nomination had been done by a CUF faction led by Prof Lipumba.

NEC, then, came under attack from the CUF faction led by Mr Seif Sharrif Hamada and other stakeholders for endorsing what they considered an illegal process due to a leadership and constitutional dispute that is still raging within CUF and that has seen the split of the party into two factions.

Addressing a press conference at CUF Buguruni offices on Tuesday, Prof Lipumba said the nomination of the MPs was lawful and constitutional because the names of endorsed MPS were in the original list of eligible members that had been submitted by party’s secretary general Mr Hamad in September 2015.

“What we did was just to go back to Mr Hamad’s roster and pick some MPs. We did not come up with any new names!” Mr Hamad retorted.

The Special Seats MPs nominated by the Lipumba faction last month and approved by NEC were Rukia Ahmed Kassim, Shamsia Aziz Mtamba, Kiza Hussein Mayeye, Zainab Mndolwa Amir, Hindu Hamis Mwenda, Sonia Jumaa Magogo, Alfredina Apolinary Kahigi and Nuru Awadh Bafadhili.

The MPs who were dismissed by Lipumba faction from CUF were Savelina Silvanus Mwijage, Saumu Heri Sakala, Salma Mohamed Mohamed, Riziki Shahari Mngwali, Raisa Abdallah Mussa, Miza Bakari Haji, Khadija Al-Qassmy and Halima Mohamed. They all ultimately lost their status as MPs.

The Special Seats MPs saga is the latest of upheavals in the CUF dispute that has split the party into two sides; one led by Chairman Prof Lipumba and the other aligned to secretary general, Mr Hamad. The Special Seat MPs who were dismissed from the party challenged the decision in court.

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Hamad Dismisses Claims That CUF Threatens Union

By Louis Kolumbia

Dar es Salaam — CUF has dismissed claims that it is a threat to the 53-year-old Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, saying what is said about it is just a propaganda by CCM.

Since reintroduction of multiparty democracy in the 1990s, the opposition party has been linked to attempts of harbouring division and that CUF Secretary-General Seif Shariff Hamad wasn’t a bonafide believer of the Union founded by the founding Fathers of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Abeid Aman Karume.

Political opponents have also used the notion to attack Mr Hamad and his political party, especially during elections that they were wrong candidates to be elected because they had secessionist intentions that posed a threat to the Union.

But, on Monday he told MCL digital team in an exclusive interview during his visit at Mwananchi Communications Limited offices that the claims that he would break the Union were not true and that those, who threatened the Union were serving in the Union government.

He said a few days before the swearing in of President John Magufuli he met his predecessor Jakaya Kikwete for private talks. “Mr Kikwete expressed the same concern that the people were doubtful of the Union fate in case I was elected President of the Revolutionary Republic of Zanzibar. What will be my starting point? I asked him. You are tomorrow handling powers to Dr Magufuli, but you have been the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces in the country. What will be my starting point in breaking the Union?,” he said during the interview.

Mr Hamad was referring to the powers entrusted to the Head of State in protecting the Union as quoted by President Magufuli in his speech to commemorate 53rd anniversary of the Union in Dodoma.

In his speech, Dr Magufuli warned anti-Union agitators, saying his government won’t tolerate people harbouring secessionist intentions. In his words, he said.

“We’re having difficulties even in maintaining our marriages, and thus we’re experiencing some challenges in our Union as well. However, we have a good system of sorting out our contentious issues through a Joint Union Commission chaired by Vice President and attended by Prime Minister and Zanzibar Second Vice President (Mr Seif Ali Idd.”

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No Plan B in CUF Dispute, Says Seif

By Louis Kolumbia

Dar es Salaam — The Civic United Front (CUF) yesterday said it had no plan B for handling its future political activities in the country if there shall be a failure to reach a solution to the ongoing constitutional dispute.

Party Secretary General Seif Shariff Hamad said they were optimistic the dispute would be resolved before local governments polls slated for 2019, dismissing claims that he would influence his supporters to join the Chadema if the wrangling pitting his faction against that of Prof Ibrahim Lipumba will not have come to an end by then.

“I founded this party; I haven’t, and I don’t think if I will have, the intention to leave CUF…I will remain within CUF. Those with the notion that I will defect to either Chadema or NCCR-Mageuzi should discard such thoughts,” he said.

Speaking during an exclusive interview with MCL Digital Team at Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) headquarters owners of MCL digital and Social Media Platforms, Mwananchi, The Citizen and MwanaSpoti newspapers, Mr hamad said CUF was used to disputes, expressing optimism that ongoing wrangles would be resolved before 2019.

“Usually we get into conflicts at critical times. But, you will be surprised, we emerge stronger after the disputes are resolved,” he said.

Ongoing wrangles within CUF were triggered by Prof Lipumba’s decision to revoke his earlier decision to resign has split the party down the middle, with one faction led by party’s chairman Lipumba and the other, by Mr Hamad.

According to him, his secret to survive waves of disputes and changes within CUF was attributed by his respect and adherence to party’s constitution and decisions made in accordance with either the Executive Committee, the Sovereign Governing Body (SGB) or the National Congress meetings.

The five-time CUF presidential candidate in Zanzibar said resolution efforts spearheaded by political stakeholders including religious leaders requested him to resolve his differences with Prof Lipumba, adding that he has no personal problems with the internationally renowned economy guru.

“Prof Lipumba has disputes with the party which, through its decision meetings, resolved to strip him of his membership. Being the CUF secretary general, it is my responsibility to ensure decisions made by various party meetings are observed and implemented. In this case, only the court has powers to end the impasse,” he said.

He said office of the Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi was to blame for planting the dispute within CUF. He said the judge has refused to recognise party decisions against Prof Lipumba after revoking his resignation decision last year.

Mr Hamad said it was party’s National Congress in its August meeting that approved Prof Lipumba’s resignation, before the SGB during its Zanzibar meeting decided to strip him of his membership.

“Surprisingly, Registrar recognizes these meetings, but he dismisses decisions made. However, the Registrar has no constitutional powers to accept or reject decisions made by any political party’s national congress,” he said, adding:

“Those affected by party decisions are advised to pursue their rights in court.

“The registrar remains with responsibility to register, de-register and keep record of political parties in the country.”

Mr Hamad hailed party members who have been extending support and trust to CUF that even remote villages that haven’t been reached by national leaders have been making efforts and have emerged victorious during elections.

Sudan: Sheikh Thani Bin Hamad Inaugurates Shikha Aisha Town for Orphans

Damar — Sheikh Thani bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani on Tuesday inaugurated the sheikha Aisha town for orphans in Damar town, Shamalia State, in the presence of the Assistant of the President of the Republic Gen Abdul Rahaman Sadeq Al Mahdi and as the Governor of Nahr Nil State

The governor expressed appreciation for the role played by Qatar in effecting so m any charity acts in the state beside its socio-political contributions in the Sudan in the various domains.

He said the town has made so many orphans and their families happy.

He referred to other contributions by Qatar in the domain of achieving peace in Darfur and in persevering the Sudanese’s cultural heritage in northern Sudan beside the development projects inaugurated in Darfur.

The Minister of Social Welfare and social security Mashaair Al Dawalab has on her part commended Qatar people and government for establishing and Funding Development and service projects and programmes all over the country, pointing out the directives and decisions of the president of the republic that orphans receive full medical care and coverage saying her ministry is still working to implement those presidential directives

The executive president of the Qatari Charity organization Yusuf Bin Ahmed Al Kawari has said efforts would continue in implementing more projects and programme in a way that would boost the relations between the two people of the two countries

The Universe of Nahr Nil has meanwhile granted an Honorary Doctorate for Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani.

The town was officially handed to the Governor of the State, while some token distributions for houses to orphans families were made.

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Museveni Throws Out Officials On Qatar Trip

Photo: PPU/Daily Monitor

Visiting. President Museveni and the First Lady Janet being received by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (right), the Amir of the state of Qatar at his residence (Emir Dewani). Left is Sam Kutesa, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

By Frederic Musisi

Kampala — President Museveni single-handedly picked the list of government officials in the delegation accompanying him to a three-day State visit to oil producing Qatar in the Middle East, according to highly placed sources.

The President, who left for Qatar on Tuesday afternoon with his wife Janet, sources said, threw out a list of officials from the ministries of Labour, Agriculture, Energy and the usual long line of protocol officers who had lined up for the trip, opting to unusually travel with a lean team comprising select officials from Foreign Affairs and Finance. The President’s delegation usually varies from time to time depending on the nature of the trip and assignments at hand.

A technical team was in Qatar much earlier shuffling back and forth over the MoU paper work but sources intimated the President could have dropped some officials premised on his “Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo” (era of no-compromise) sloganeering, in which he signaled government starting to show some seriousness. During this year’s Liberation Day celebrations, the President rapped officials for excess travels, even where assignments can be executed by a small team, a practice he said should stop.

At the Hamad International Airport in the capital Doha, Mr Museveni was received by out-going ambassador to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) Dr Ssemuddu Yahaya who was reassigned to Tehran (Iran), and Qatari minister for Municipality and Environment Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi.

Yesterday, the President held bilateral talks with the Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani at his residence, who expressed interest in exploring investment opportunities in Uganda and proposed that the two countries create a coordination team led by two ministers to oversee this prospect.

“We can work in two ways, through government and the private sector,” President Museveni was quoted in a statement issued by his press secretary Linda Nabusayi.

“The private sector can invest and process food, textiles, minerals and tourism while government cooperation can look at energy, roads, technical education, innovations and industrial parks.”

The President, who specifically tapped junior Finance minister in charge of Investment Evelyn Anite to coordinate the Qatar-Uganda business interests, said the two countries could as well cooperate in the fields of Energy and Infrastructure.

Premier Abdullah bin Nasser, according to the statement, indicated that with his country hosting the World Cup tournament in 2022, Ugandans could as well take advantage of the migrant labour wave sweeping into the country to tap into the immense jobs available, especially with construction of stadiums and other amenities.

Earlier, the President held a meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, where they witnessed the signing of four MoUs between Uganda and Qatar in the spheres of defence signed by Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa and Qatari defence minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah, and on political consultations also signed by Mr Kutesa and his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

Other MoUs, on reciprocal cooperation in the protection of investments was signed by Finance minister Matia Kasaija and Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al-Thani, the Qatari minister for economy and commerce, and cooperation in agriculture also signed by Mr Kutesa and Sheihk Mohammad Al Rumaihi, the minister for Municipality and Environment.

Later, Mr Museveni and his wife held a meeting with Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser, the chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a non-profit organisation.

The meeting discussed investments in Uganda, especially in education. The Foundation previously, has been working with the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, founded by US Actor Forrest Whitaker, in empowering youth in Northern Uganda.

CUF Legislators Boycott Sakaya’s Contribution

By Alawi Masare

Dodoma — Some CUF legislators on Monday evening walked out of the debating chamber, leaving behind only two of them, following a party crisis.

The party is split into two groups – one led by the embattled national chairman Prof Ibrahim Lipumba and the other by secretary-general Seif Sharif Hamad.

Recently, Prof Lipumba announced Kaliua MP Magdalena Sakaya as acting secretary-general as the camp claimed Mr Hamad had failed to perform his duties.

The other camp also had suspended Ms Sakaya from party membership. When Ms Sakaya was about to contribute to budget debate, the MPs walked out of the debating chamber, leaving her behind and Maftah Nachuma (Mtwara Town).

Ms Sakaya used the chance to clear the air over the allegations raised by MPs against the political party registrar and her appointment. “Some MPs have been distorting issues here and I want to say that the registrar was correct and I was legally appointed as acting secretary-general,” she said. However, Mr Ally Salehe said in a hand written note that they had to leave the House in protest.

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Zanzibar President Shares Facts On 2015 Zanzibar Election Re-Run

Photo: Daily News

Zanzibar election.

Zanzibar President and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council Ali Mohamed Shein disclosed yesterday that he failed to reach an agreement with his fellow presidential aspirant in the 2015 election, Mr Seif Sharrif Hamad of Civic United Front (CUF), after the latter rejected the re-run as directed by the electoral body.

“We in Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) went into the negotiation table with a clear spirit and had wanted the election to be repeated; but Mr Hamad was against this idea much as the first election was marred with irregularities,” Dr Shein revealed yesterday.

President Shein made the disclosure during an exclusive televised interview with a private station, Azam TV, which was hosted by veteran presenter Tido Mhando. Dr Shein stressed that the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) was an independent entity operating without influence from any public or private institution.

The electoral body in Zanzibar nullified presidential and House of Representatives’ election held on October 29, 2015 due to a number of irregularities and called for a rerun in March, 2016, which was boycotted by Mr Seif Sharif Hamad and his party.

During the re-run, Dr Shein was declared the winner after he scooped 299,982 votes against just 6,076 or 1.9 per cent for his main rival from CUF.

Asked why ZEC cancelled the poll in Zanzibar and yet the National Electoral Commission (NEC) continued with the process, Dr Shein explained that the two electoral bodies operate under separate legislations and constitutions.

“Returning officers at ZEC noted the shortfalls in the election in Zanzibar; these officials are not responsible for the Union presidential and parliamentary polls,” Dr Shein explained.

The Isles leader said he was not moved by continued global tours by Mr Hamad in discrediting the election, stressing that “the decision by ZEC cannot be contested by any local or international institution.”

Meanwhile, President Shein explained that the process for introducing a new constitution in Tanzania will be attained but without “pressure from any groups inside or outside the country.” “President John Magufuli will have to engage me in the process but this will be done without pressure from anyone,” Dr Shein explained.

On the other hand, Dr Shein warned party leaders within CCM, who are working ‘behind the scenes’ to set the ground for them to succeed him in 2020, noting that it was not the right time yet.

“CCM has procedures in regard to these positions and all those going around should wait for the right time,” he advised.

President Shein noted as well that he was not vouching any leader to assume the presidency when his terms ends in 2020, since it is only the party that can nominate a candidate to vie for the position.

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Zanzibar Polls Crisis Unfolds in 2016

Photo: The Citizen

CUF presidential candidate Seif Shariff Hamad and his CCM counterpart, Dr Ali Mohammed Shein.

By Athuman Mtulya

Dar es Salaam — Around mid-day Wednesday, October 28, 2015 the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairman, Mr Jecha Salim Jecha, appeared in front of live cameras, with one unprecedented piece of information: the results of Zanzibar presidential and House of Reps elections, which were conducted three days earlier as part of the Tanzania General Election have been annulled.

According to Mr Jecha, there were massive irregularities that compromised the credibility of the polls, so the results had to be nullified. The move sent a country in a state of numbness and disbelief. Yes, the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago has a history of troubled elections since the return of multiparty elections in 1995 (with exception of 2010 where Zanzibar witnessed its only peaceful election) it never reached a point where results had to be annulled.

Tension mounted, the main Opposition party CUF came out insisting that it had won while the ruling party CCM accepted the nullification of the results. The international community refused to accept the nullification of results and called on ZEC to continue with tallying process. While the crisis was born in late October of 2015, its aftermath unfolded in 2016 and affected the socio-political and economic engagements for the isles and Tanzania as whole.

Amidst all the fuss, CUF presidential candidate Seif Shariff Hamad and his CCM counterpart, Dr Ali Mohammed Shein, were engaged in a marathon of closed-door meetings aimed at ending the impasse. About eight meetings were held between November 2015 and early January 2016, and were also attended by former Zanzibar presidents, but no deal was reached and the meetings ended in disarray.

In late January, Mr Jecha came out again and announced that on March 20, a rerun of polls would take place. The announcement was highly criticised by the Opposition and international community.

Uneasy calm

President John Magufuli took over office in November, last year and expressed his strong belief that the political situation in Zanzibar would be settled amicably. However, in February, he addressed Dar es Salaam elders and told them that he was not going to meddle with the matter, stressing that ZEC was an independent body. He then issued a warning, saying that as the Commander-in-Chief, he would make sure that Zanzibar remains peaceful and whoever tried to cause trouble, would be dealt with accordingly.

Generally speaking, the situation seemed to be quiet and peaceful, but beneath the veneer of calmness lied fear and uncertainty.

Attacks allegedly perpetuated by militia group called “Zombies” to civilians mostly affiliated to Opposition were reported. Stories of militias during elections in Zanzibar are not new, in previous years there was another group called Janjaweed. Zombies, like Janjaweed before it, are all said to have been formed and operated jointly by CCM and security forces to intimidate Opposition supporters.

This reporter, who was based in Zanzibar at that time, traced some of the victims of Zombies attacks. However, none of them, regardless of the degree of attack, reported to police, claiming that the militia and police are one and tehe same. That was a perfect excuse for police not to pursue on the militia, saying it was just a myth, since no single attack was officially reported to authorities.

There was then reports of bomb blasts, the first one in the narrow streets of Stone Town, then followed one at popular CCM joint, Kisonge Branch office and the last one at the residence of the Isles police boss Hamdan Omar Makame. No fatalities or serious injuries were reported in all three incidents.

Over 40 people, including two high level CUF leaders, were arrested in connection with the bombings but they were all later released without being charged. According to CUF, the bombs were but an insider job aimed at giving security organs legitimacy to crack down on the Opposition.

As repeat election date neared, security presence both by police and soldiers from Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) was heavily boosted in the archipelago.

The outcome

The polls were repeated on March 20 but CUF boycotted them, enabling the CCM to register a landslide win of 91 per cent in presidency and bagged all 54 elective seats in the House of Reps.

After the breakdown of internal negotiations CUF led by Mr Hamad sought foreign intervention. The earlier attempt was made three weeks after the annulment of the October polls when Mr Hamad wrote to Pope Francis asking for his intervention, telling him in the letter that the political impasse was threatening peace and religious tolerance in the Isles. After the March return polls, which were faulted by among others the US, EU and Commonwealth, Mr Hamad embarked on shuttle diplomacy where he travelled to the US and UK addressing the Zanzibar situation at different liberals’ conventions. CUF also called for foreign powers to issue travel ban and freeze assets of all individuals within CCM and the government who took part in “raping democracy” in the isles.

The biggest blow to the government and success to CUF as far as the Zanzibar fiasco is concerned was the suspension of aid funds by the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The MCC board in late March suspended the $472 million (nearly Sh1 trillion) for development projects in the country sighting the isles political impasse.

CUF also called for its supporters to passively resist the Dr Shein regime, and leading by example Mr Hamad refused to shake hands with him in August when they met during the funeral of former Zanzibar President Aboud Jumbe. Recently, Mr Hamad told journalists that the ongoing wrangles within the party were planted by the government using the embattled CUF Chairman, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, to shift his focus from challenging the government especially with foreign visits.

Police Block CUF Meeting in Mtwara On Security Grounds

By Haika Kimaro

Mtwara — Police in Newala District were yesterday forced to suspend an internal meeting of CUF leaders on fears that it could have degenerated into chaos because of dispute involving two camps within the Opposition party.

Police blocked the meeting following what they called indications of imminent clash between leaders who support embattled party chairman Prof Ibrahim Lipumba against a rival camp backing reigning secretary general Seif Sharif Hamad.

Tandahimba Member of Parliament Katani Katani, who is also member of the CUF national governing council, confirmed that the police had taken the move noting that they were saddened by it as it was unwarranted.

“We had secured permits to conduct the meeting but an hour before it begun we received a message that the meeting has been cancelled by police for security concerns,” he said.

He said as if that was not enough police arrived at the building where they were planning to hold their meeting and started to disperse the people. The lawmaker hinted that the meeting was called off after some members who support Prof Lipumba lobbied to the law enforcement organ to have their meeting annulled. Things are not well in Newala. We had sent a report that we will hold an internal meeting and we were okayed only to be dispersed by the police as we were about to begin,” he said.

In another development, CUF secretary general Hamad yesterday assured party supporters that efforts to amicably resolve the political stalemate in Zanzibar were promising. Speaking with hundreds of supporters after praying at Kihinani Mosque in Magharibi A District, Mr Hamad hinted that the efforts involved international mediation teams.

“If you want to know where we have reached with efforts to reconcile I can tell you that we have reached a very promising stage despite efforts by some people to derail them,” he said.

Additional reporting by Hassan Ali in Zanzibar

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