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08DARESSALAAM325 2008-05-29 03:39:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Dar Es Salaam
Cable title:  

ZANZIBAR: RIFT BETWEEN CCM AND CUF WIDENS;

Tags:   PREL PHUM PGOV KDEM TZ 
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VZCZCXRO5489
PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHDR #0325/01 1500339
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 290339Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7569
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 3307
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 1406
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0383
RUEHMS/AMEMBASSY MUSCAT PRIORITY 0053
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RUEHDS/USMISSION USAU ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 DAR ES SALAAM 000325 

SIPDIS

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DRL/AE FOR BCONNUCK
ADDIS FOR AU MISSION
PARIS, LONDON, BRUSSELS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/26/2018
TAGS: PREL PHUM PGOV KDEM TZ
SUBJECT: ZANZIBAR: RIFT BETWEEN CCM AND CUF WIDENS;
TENSIONS ON THE ISLES REMAIN A CONCERN

REF: A. STATE 50701

B. DAR ES SALAAM 0261

Classified By: Ambassador Mark Green for reasons 1.4 (b,d).

SUMMARY
--------


1. (C) Two months have passed since the inter-party
discussions on a powersharing agreement in Zanzibar broke
down on March 29. The talks were disrupted when the Central
Committee of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party made
a surprise call for a referendum on the agreement. Tensions
on Pemba Island rose following the May 11 arrest of seven
Pemban elders who sent a petition to the UN Development
Program Resident Representative asking that "Pembans be left
to run Pemba." The seven were released on bail May 16
following six days of interrogation by the Tanzanian National
Police with no charges filed. On May 13, leaders of the
Civic United Front (CUF) handed over to the press the entire
confidential proceedings of 14 months of negotiations between
CCM and CUF, including the final signed agreement the two
parties had forwarded to their respective Central Committees
(Ref B). CUF also sent a letter to President Kikwete
demanding that further reconciliation discussions be only
between the Secretary General of CUF, and President Karume of
Zanzibar, mediated by Kikwete.



2. (C) On May 19, President Karume told the press he would
invite key CUF leaders to the Zanzibar State House to
continue negotiations, on the pre-condition that CUF
recognize him as President of Zanzibar. (NOTE: CUF has
refused to recognize Karume since the 2005 elections,
claiming that the vote count was not transparent and the
results inaccurate.) CUF leaders responded May 21 by
announcing impeachment proceedings against President Karume
based on Karume's admission that Pembans are underrepresented
in the GOZ since "they did not vote for CCM in 2005." Since
late April, Ambassador Green and Embassy officers have been
consulting with like-minded diplomats and working steadily
behind the scenes with State House contacts, senior and
mid-level CCM officials and members of the CUF leadership to
urge signals or actions from either side that could break the
reconciliation deadlock. The Ambassador is preparing a
policy speech to be delivered in Zanzibar with a call to tone
down the rhetoric and work cooperatively toward a resolution.
End summary.

Pemban Elders' Call for Autonomy


--------------------------




3. (SBU) On the late evening of May 11, seven Pemban senior
citizens (average age over 60 years) were arrested in their
homes and taken into custody. The elders were interrogated
by the Tanzanian National Police for six days at an unknown
location about why they and five other Pembans had drafted,
signed, and delivered a petition on May 8 to the Resident Rep
of UNDP in Dar es Salaam. The five-page petition outlined
in detail the tiny percentage of Ministers, Deputy Ministers,
Permanent Secretaries and even Office Directors in the
current GOZ who are Pembans. The document expressed the view
that since Pembans are underrepresented in and receive
minimal government services from the GOZ, Pemban people
should "have our own island of Pemba and let the Unguja
people have their own island."



4. (SBU) A total of twelve names and signatures were on the
petition: the signatories claimed that they represent at
least 10,000 Pemban citizens. While, none of the elders are
CUF leaders, they are all members of the Civic United Front.
Most were also eyewitnesses to the 1964 Zanzibar revolution.
The Minister in the Vice President's Office for Union
Affairs, Mohamed Seif Khatib, and other Union officials
portrayed the petition as a demand to secede from the Union
which could be considered a "treasonous act." However,
independent legal experts noted the actual request was for
Pemba to have an autonomous administration to govern Pemban
affairs, yet remain part of the United Republic of Tanzania,
similar to the current Government of Zanzibar-Union
relationship.


DAR ES SAL 00000325 002 OF 004




5. (SBU) The well-respected University of Dar es Salaam law
professor and political analyst, Issa Shivji, publicly echoed
the views of numerous newspaper editorials, stating that the
Union government had "overreacted" by arresting the Pemban
senior citizens and treating them as criminals. Shivji noted
the political and economic marginalization of Pemba is not a
secret. "The issue here is not the Pemban people wanting to
break away or have an autonomous government, but why,"
Shivji stressed. While acknowledging that many Pembans'
grievances have roots back to the era of the 1964 revolution
in Zanzibar, Shivji believes that a better way to resolve the
dispute would be that 1) the Union government listen to the
elders concerns and 2) the Government of Zanzibar "stop
ignoring the social and economic disparities between Unguja
and Pemba."



6. (SBU) Shivji added that both CCM and CUF had negotiated a
powersharing agreement in good faith for 14-months and
whatever had been agreed upon, all sides need to go along
with it. He reiterated that Pemba is being marginalized and
"CCM is coming on too strong with its propaganda." Due
partially to the public outcry over its strong-handed
approach toward the Pemban elders, they were all released May
16 on bond. However, Inspector General of the Police, Said
Mwema, warned that they could be called in for further
questioning. The Tanzanian National Police's investigation
is focused on whether any "outsiders" had influenced the
Pemban elders' actions or not.

CCM Leadership Blames the Opposition; CUF Retaliates


--------------------------



--------------------------




7. (U) Also on May 11, the CCM's Secretary General Yusuf
Makamba broke his silence of nearly five weeks concerning the
break down of reconciliation talks between the CCM and CUF by
calling a press conference to attack the CUF leadership.
Makamba asserted that CUF had "misrepresented to the public"
that the two sides had reached agreement during their 14
months of negotiations. Makamba, flanked by Kingunge
Ngombale-Mwiru, a senior CCM advisor and chief negotiator
during the talks, characterized CUF as being the sole cause
of the standoff by refusing to accept CCM's suggestion that
the question of a powersharing government in Zanzibar be
decided through a referendum. On May 13, CUF called its own
press conference and handed out the entire confidential
minutes of the fourteen months of negotiations to the press,
including copies of the documents signed by the
representatives of both parties showing that an agreement had
been reached. CUF leaders claimed all points were agreed on,
including the structure of a powersharing government and that
CUF would recognize Pres Karume once the powersharing was
implemented.



8. (C) Just days after his return from the U.S. (Ref A),
President Karume jumped into the fray, calling his own May 20
press conference in Stone Town to announce he would meet with
Malim Seif Hamad and "invite him and the CUF leaders to the
State House for dinner" if and only if, CUF recognizes him as
the President of Zanzibar. Although in November 2005, the
newly-elected CUF Zanzibar House of Representative members
took their seats in the House, to date they refuse to
recognize the results of the October 2005 presidential vote,
stating the election was unfair and the presidential results
not accurate. CUF members walk out when President Karume
addresses the House of Representatives and refuse to attend
all official functions where he is present.



9. (C) Karume is deeply and personally offended by this
stance. Recognition of Karume as president was CUF's strong
card in the inter-party negotiations. The draft agreement
CUF gave the press May 13 revealed that CUF would recognize
Karume only after a powersharing government was in place.
Karume's demand that recognition be a precondition to resume
inter-party negotiations was obviously a political ploy aimed
at trying to redefine the public debate.



10. (C) Almost immediately, CUF "struck back", announcing May
22 that the CUF House of Representative members would begin
impeachment procedures because Karume was not upholding the
constitution of Zanzibar. CUF leadership claimed that during

DAR ES SAL 00000325 003 OF 004


his press conference, Karume had conceded that his
administration sidelined the Pembans because the people of
Pemba did not vote for him in 2005. "Is there an article in
the Constitution that allows the President to discriminate
against citizens who did not vote for him?" stressed Hon.
Hamad Rashid Mohamed, CUF opposition leader in the Union
Parliament. Hon. Rashid noted that the Constitutional
impeachment procedures require a written motion signed by
half of the House of Representative members. Since CUF holds
only 24 of the 77 seats in the House, a successful
impeachment effort appears to be a long shot.



11. (C) In the midst of this exchange of blows, President
Kikwete attempted to de-escalate rising tensions between the
two parties on May 15, by urging resumption of the Zanzibar
reconciliation talks. He claimed that the negotiators only
differed on "the procedures of how to implement the
agreement." However, our contacts from both parties have
confirmed that the CCM and CUF positions have solidified and
emotions are running too deep to characterize the rift as
merely "procedural differences." Along with moderate leaders
from CCM, CUF, and like-minded diplomats, we believe that
President Kikwete's public statements have not addressed the
seriousness of the Zanzibar political standoff. While
privately we are told by the Foreign Minister and CCM party
insiders that President Kikwete has a "plan" and will take
action "soon", to date he has not done so.

Other Views and Concerns


--------------------------




12. (C) CCM: Hon. Jerry Silaa, an elected Dar es Salaam City
Councilor and member of the CCM National Executive Committee
(NEC), told AF/E Office Director James Knight May 20 that
many CCM Zanzibar members do not even want to hear about or
mention powersharing: the word itself "makes them nauseated."
Silaa admitted that the CCM Mainland members, himself
included, were caught by surprise by the CCM Zanzibar
hard-liners' organizing to block the reconciliation agreement
during the March 27-28 party meeting and to successfully
prevent the CCM Central Committee from giving its blessing to
the powersharing agreement in Zanzibar.



13. (C) Hon. Mohamed Dewji, a Mainland CCM Member of
Parliament, stressed in the same meeting that a stable,
peaceful political environment is pivotal to Tanzania's and
Zanzibar's economic growth. He noted many CCM Mainland
members are concerned that the Zanzibar impasse has "become
too emotional." While Dewji does not believe that President
Karume has totally ignored the development of Pemba, he
confirmed that Karume's refusal to compromise is because the
CUF has not recognized him as president. Dewji and Silaa
both insisted the only person able to tackle and resolve the
current standoff is President Kikwete. They also hinted at
the frustration of many CCM Mainland members with CCM
Zanzibar, with Silaa suggesting it might be better to leave
CCM Zanzibar "on its own." Dewji bemoaned that too much of
CCM's political and financial capital has been spent over the
past decade to "help CCM Zanzibar to win their elections."



14. (C) CUF: Hon. Hamad Rashid Mohamed told AF/E Office
Director Knight on May 19, that President Kikwete's inaction
to resolve the standoff in Zanzibar is creating a leadership
vacuum in Tanzania that could be "dangerous". He and other
CUF party leaders spent the May 17-18 weekend on Pemba Island
meeting with their constituents to calm concerns and
frustration. However, nearly two and a half years after
President Kikwete's inaugural December 2005 address to the
Parliament promising to do all in his power to bring the
Isles of Zanzibar together, "very few have hope or see a way
forward," Rashid emphasized.


Comment: Kikwete Has Not Closed the Deal


--------------------------




15. (C) This crescendo of words and actions is strengthening
the position of hard-liners in both CUF and the CCM. In
addition to the Ambassador's back channel efforts, we are in
daily contact with moderates in both parties and with
academics and neutral observers. They share our concern that

DAR ES SAL 00000325 004 OF 004


President Kikwete's lack of action has allowed the gap to
widen and both sides have solidified their positions. Most
agree that President Kikwete alone must resolve this impasse.
We believe that Kikwete, in his role as Union President,
needs to give Karume a clear message not to obstruct the
reconciliation process and that the agreement that was
negotiated from January 2007 to February 2008 should endorsed
by both sides and implemented as soon as possible.



16. (C) To date, Kikwete has not taken action either publicly
or privately to bring "into the fold" the CCM Zanzibar
hard-liners supporting Karume's refusal to consider any GOZ
powersharing arrangement before 2010. In the short window of
time following President Karume's return from the U.S. and
the commencement of Kikwete's African Union obligations and
his current trip to Japan, Kikwete could have mediated a
meeting between the CUF leaders and Karume, but did not do
so. As we enter the second half of 2008, with the 2010
Mainland and Zanzibar elections only two years away, we are
concerned that if a resolution to this impasse is not found
soon, 2010 could produce, at best, a repeat of the
undemocratic and often violent scenarios of the 1995, 2000
and 2005 Zanzibar elections.
GREEN