October 27, 2003

CCM losing support in Zanzibar

The recent registration of two political parties in Zanzibar, Safina and Soft, has started to eat at the support base of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party. Coming only two years before the next general election scheduled for October 2005, the waning influence of CCM particularly in northern Unguja is raising concern among many CCM supporters.

Currently, the ruling CCM faces problems within the party hierarchy tantamount to an internal rebellion as defections and a wide rift rock the party. Some of those who have defected have joined the newly-registered Safina. CCM cells, called Maskani, have been seriously affected as their meeting places to date remain empty, while others have been sold to businessmen who have turned them into shops. One of the major contentious issues centres on the perceived benefits of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which had created Tanzania in 1964. (The East African, Nairobi)

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