The Civic United Front (CUF), particularly its relations with the government authorities and the treatment of its members by those authorities (March 2004-July 2006) [TZA101530.FE]

According to information on its Website, the Civic United Front (CUF), Chama Cha Wananchi in Swahili, is headed by professor Ibrahim Haruna Lipumba, national president, Seif Shariff Hamad, secretary-general (see also Africa Research Bulletin May 2005, 16179), and Machano Khamis Ali, vice-president (CUF n.d.). The CUF, registered on 21 January 2003, is a legal party whose headquarters are located on Zanzibar Island and whose head office is in Dar-es-Salaam (ibid.). It has been a member of Liberal International since 1997 (Liberal International n.d.).

In the last parliamentary elections, held on 14 December 2005, 19 out of the 232 members directly elected to parliament belonged to the CUF, making it second after the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), which won 206 seats (Africa Elections Database 9 May 2006; United States 29 June 2006; Africa Research Bulletin Jan. 2006, 16461). In the presidential election, held at the same time as the parliamentary election, Ibrahim Haruna Lipumba took approximately 12 percent of the vote, putting him in second place after Jakaya Kikwete, who was elected president of Tanzania (ibid.; Africa Elections Database 29 May 2006; United States 29 June 2006).

In the presidential and parliamentary elections held on 30 October 2005 on Zanzibar Island, out of the 50 seats in Zanzibar's parliament (The Economist 5-11 Nov. 2005, 51), the CUF won 19, finishing second to the CCM, which won 30 (Africa Confidential 4 Nov. 2005, 3; United States 29 June 2006; Africa Research Bulletin Dec. 2005, 16425). Seif Shariff Hamad, the CUF secretary-general won approximately 46 percent of the vote in the presidential race, finishing second behind the CCM's Amani Abeid Karume, who became president of the island with 53 percent of the vote (ibid.; The Economist 5 Nov. 2005, 51; United Nations 7 Nov. 2005). However, some sources indicate that the elections were tainted by fraud and that the CUF refused to concede victory to Amani Abeid Karume (Africa Research Bulletin Jan. 2006, 16461; United Nations 7 Nov. 2005).

With regard to relations between the CUF and the government authorities, the CCM-CUF agreement (muafaka in Swahili) reached after the January 2001 disturbances (Africa Confidential 23 Sept. 2005, 5) has not yielded the hoped-for results despite support from international partners (Africa Research Bulletin May 2005, 16179). However, according to Africa Confidential, the agreement has "contributed to greater fairness-with the electoral laws amended, the CUF now represented on the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC), the acceptance by both sides of a code of conduct and meetings between Karume and Hamad as recently as mid-September" (23 Sept. 2005, 5).

Nevertheless, several sources indicate that the December elections and especially those held in October 2005 were marked by violence and irregularities (Africa Research Bulletin Dec. 2005, 16425; The Economist 5 Nov. 2005, 51; Africa Confidential 4 Nov. 2005, 3; ibid. 21 Oct. 2005). For example, an article published in The Economist reports that riots broke out when the CCM victory was announced two days after the 30 October 2005 elections and that security forces attempting to suppress the protest killed five opposition members (5 Nov. 2005, 51). In addition, the 4 November 2005 issue of Africa Confidential indicates that the CUF headquarters and the party leader's house were placed under the close surveillance of hundreds of heavily armed soldiers (3). According to the same source, the military stated that the soldiers would stay there until after the December 2005 elections and had been ordered to watch out for all suspicious movements by CUF leaders and supporters (Africa Confidential 4 Nov. 2005, 3). In its 21 October 2005 issue, Africa Confidential had already mentioned reports of CUF supporters being beaten by some of the Tanzanian soldiers who were being sent to Zanzibar in increasing numbers as the elections grew nearer (8). A still earlier article in the same magazine had reported a few "isolated cases of violence;" in one such incident on 9 September 2005, six CUF supporters leaving a rally were injured when stones, iron bars and clubs were hurled at them (Africa Confidential 23 Sept. 2005, 5).

No recent information on the treatment of CUF members by the government authorities could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Africa Confidential [London]. 4 November 2005. Vol. 46, No. 22. "Tanzania: Armed and Dangerous."

_____. 21 October 2005. Vol. 46, No. 21. "Tanzania: Island Story."

_____. 23 September 2005. Vol. 46, No. 19. "Tanzania: All Eyes on the Islands."

Africa Elections Database. N.d.. "Elections in Tanzania." [Accessed 11 July 2006]

Africa Research Bulletin [London]. January 2006. Vol. 42, No. 12. "Tanzania: Mainland Election."

_____. December 2005. Vol. 42, No. 11. "Tanzania: Zanzibar Winner."

_____. May 2005. Vol. 42, No. 4. "Tanzania: Political Tension."

The Civic United Front (CUF). N.d. "About CUF - Civic United Front." [Accessed 11 July 2006]

The Economist [London]. 5-11 November 2005. "Zanzibar: Spiced With Tear-Gas."

Liberal International. N.d. "CUF (Tanzanie)." [Accessed 11 July 2006]

United Nations. 17 November 2005. Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN). "Zanzibar Opposition Says It Will Sit in Parliament, Despite Tanzania."" [Accessed 11 July 2006]

United States. 29 June 2006. CIA World Factbook 2005. "Tanzania." [Accessed 11 July 2006]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: Africa Confidential, Africa Research Bulletin,, Amnesty International (AI), BBC News,, Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Crisis Group (ICG), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Jeune Afrique, Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent, Political Parties of the Word, United States Department of State.