TANZANIA/ZANZIBAR: IRIN News Briefs [19990526]

TANZANIA/ZANZIBAR: IRIN News Briefs [19990526]


IMF loan "not a done deal"

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has commended aspects of Tanzania's economic performance but has not promised the release in July of the second tranche of US $82m in loans for 1999 - contrary to some media reports, the IMF resident representative in Dar es Salaam, Tsidi Tsikata, told IRIN on Wednesday. "It's not a done deal, but we are close", Tsikata added.

A mid-term review mission, whose findings will determine the release of the financing has yet to complete its work, said Tsikata, adding that the government "has not shared enough of its intentions for us to make a judgement". While the mission was pleased with the government's broad macroeconomic policies, there was still concern over the pace of structural reforms and elements of the impending 1999/2000 budget to be discussed, Tsikata said.

IMF welcomes Zanzibar "reconciliation"

The IMF representative told IRIN that while the Fund had no Zanzibar-specific conditionalities on good governance, the IMF - and the donor community in general - took heart from this month's initialling of a reconciliation agreement between the governing Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM, the Revolutionary Party of Tanzania) and the opposition Civic United Front (CUF). The IMF "welcomes any moves towards patching up differences and solving political difficulties that are dragging things down". "We do hope it's a genuine resolution - Zanzibar cannot afford to be without donor support," Tsikata told IRIN.

Zanzibar political parties move to resolve impasse

Earlier this month, the CCM and CUF announced they would sign a reconciliation agreement to resolve the political impasse in Zanzibar. The measures agreed include reform of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission, promotion of human rights and good governance, reform of the judiciary, and the immediate restoration of normal political life in Zanzibar through dialogue rather than incitement of ethnic hatred, hostility and political intolerance.

Zanzibar's CCM, under Salmin Amour who is seeking a second term as president of the isles in the 2000 elections, claimed a narrow victory over the CUF in the 1995 elections, but western donors questioned the result. The dispute led to a wave of conflicts, including the opposition party's refusal to attend parliament sessions and the arrest of 18 of its members on treason charges.

Norway offers support for political compromise

Norway's ambassador to Tanzania, Nils-Johan Jorgensen, told IRIN on Wednesday that his country, and the donor community in general, was hopeful that the deal would lead to "real compromise" in Zanzibar, and a resumption of international aid flows.

Jorgensen said Norway - which discontinued its direct aid to the islands after the 1995 election problems - was hopeful of resuming proposed projects valued at 30m Kroner (three million pounds) if the political process could be put back on track after the elections in 2000. He said Norway "would very much like to resume its support" if human rights issues could be addressed and the 2000 elections proved to be free and fair.

"Delicate agreement" said to be already in jeopardy

The leader of the official opposition in Zanzibar's parliament, Fatma Maghimbi, has vowed to resist a proposed constitutional amendment by the CCM to enable President Amour contest for a third term in next year's general elections which, she said, jeopardised the "delicate" agreement between the government and opposition parties. "Since it's obvious that the proposed bill for the amendment of the Zanzibar constitution will not sail through the House, I'm afraid that Dr Salmin will use some other dirty tactics to remain in power", she told 'The Guardian' newspaper on Tuesday.


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Item: irin-english-895

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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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