Saturday, 30 October 2010

Who's Who - Election Backgrounder

Tanzanians go to the polls on 31 October to elect their President and Members of Parliament for the next five years. Seven presidential candidates will take part in the polls, including the incumbent Jakaya Kikwete who is running for a second term.

Other candidates are Willibrod Slaa and Ibrahim Lipumba of the main opposition parties, the Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendelo (CHADEMA) and the Civic United Front (CUF) respectively.

Kikwete is representing Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), which has been in power since independence in 1961.

The Tanzanian parliament, the Bunge is made up of 232 members that are elected while the remainder is appointed. Under the country's Constitution, there are 75 seats guaranteed for women, representing an additional 30 percent of the figure of elected seats.

The 75 women members are appointed by the National Electoral Commission drawn from lists submitted by the parties in parliament, and based on the number of votes won by the parties represented in parliament.

In the last election, CCM won 206 of the elected seats, that is almost 90 percent of the elected seats in parliament. Kikwete won the presidential election with 80.2 percent of the popular vote.

The CUF won 19 seats with the five going to CHADEMA and one each to the Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP).

The national elections are conducted on the same day as those in the Zanzibar islands, where Zanzibaris vote twice, once for the national President and parliament, and once for their own local President and parliament, which is more like local government.

In the Zanzibar elections, the outcome of the polls will usher in a historic achievement that will see the formation of a unity government, which includes a President from the wining party, first Vice President from the second-placed party and second Vice President from the wining party. Ministries are to be allocated on a proportional basis.

CCM has selected Vice President Ali Mohamed Shein as its candidate for the Zanzibar presidential polls. Shein replaces President Amani Abeid Karume, whose second and final term as Zanzibar President ends in October.

CUF will be represented by Seif Sharif Hamad, who is contesting the polls for the fourth time after failed attempts in 1995, 2000 and 2005.

Zanzibar is a part of the United Republic of Tanzania. However, the Zanzibar archipelago, comprising the two main islands of Unguja and Pemba, retains its own governance structure and electoral system in addition to the Union structures.

Zanzibar and Tanganyika, as the mainland was then known, entered into a Union agreement in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania, whose main objective is to build a unified society based on freedom, human rights and peaceful existence.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Election Observer Mission (SEOM) has deployed more than 100 observers to monitor the electoral process in three phases, namely, the pre-election, the election and the post-elections.

SADC Director for Politics, Defence and Security, Tanki Mothae said the pre-election period has been peaceful, adding that the atmosphere should prevail throughout the electoral process.

He said a draft report on how the polls were conducted would be released after the elections. This is in line with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, which encourages Member States to promote common political values and systems.

The SADC observer team is expected to interact with other regional and international missions such as the African Union and European Union that are in Tanzania at the invitation of the government.

The conduct of the different observer missions will be guided by the Constitution and electoral laws of Tanzania. Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Bernard Membe has urged observers to adhere to these standards so that the polls are free and fair.

"Observers are expected to be impartial, operate within their mandate and respect the law of the land and authorities responsible for regulating the elections," he said

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Kikwete tipped for re-election

Dar es Salaam - East Africa's largest country prepared for its fourth multi-party polls on Sunday, with President Jakaya Kikwete expected to keep his job despite feistier-than-usual opposition.

Voters will also choose leaders on Tanzania's semi-autonomous Zanzibar island under a new power-sharing system aimed at ending perennial election violence.

Two opinion polls have given Kikwete, 60, a wide margin over his six opponents as he seeks a second and final term in office.

Opposition to his ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM - Revolution Party) is at its strongest since the resumption of multiparty politics in 1992 and Kikwete is expected to win with a lower margin than his 80 percent landslide in 2005.

Kikwete, a former foreign minister, has promised to reduce poverty, improve health, education and transport, but his opponents criticised the new pledges, saying poverty is still high despite CCM's rule since 1961 independence.

Tanzania is one of the world's least developed countries, with an economy reliant on non-industrialised agriculture that employs nearly 80 percent of the workforce.

Other economic sectors include mining, construction, manufacturing and tourism Ä for which it boasts the expansive Serengeti park and Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain, as well as the idyllic Zanzibar archipelago.

The ruling party remained confident it would win the elections, in which some 19 million voters will also elect lawmakers and local leaders.

“We are satisfied with the trend of our campaigns so far,” said Abdulrahman Kinana, CCM's election committee chairman.

“We are going to emerge with a big victory in the presidential, parliamentary and councillors' polls,” he told reporters earlier this month.

One of Kikwete's main opponents is three-time presidential loser Ibrahim Lipumba of the Civic United Front (CUF).

A former University of Dar es Salaam economics professor, Lipumba lost twice to Kikwete's predecessor Benjamin Mkapa in 1995 and 2000 and to Kikwete himself in 2005, and opinion polls have placed him third.

First-time presidential candidate and veteran lawmaker Wilbrod Slaa is Kikwete's closest challenger, but registered a paltry 10

percent in opinion polls released earlier this month.

On the Zanzibar archipelago, a top tourist destination but politically volatile, some 400 000 voters are also called to cast their ballots on Sunday.

CCM's Ali Mohamed Shein, 62, and CUF's 67-year-old Seif Sharif Hamad are the top candidates for Zanzibar's presidency. The two also backed a July referendum to entrench a power-sharing government in the constitution.

Under the new accord, the winning pary takes the presidency while the runners-up are handed the position of vice-president.

Despite a peaceful campaigns, the CUF has voiced concern about the Zanzibar Electoral Commision's (ZEC) transparency.

“We are still concerned about transparency. ZEC has released a copy of voter registers with some irregularities,” the party's poll director Juma Sanani said.

“There are about 10 000 uncollected voters cards which were supposed to be stored by ZEC, but the cards are now in the wrong hands and may be used for double voting.”

Geographically, Zanzibar archipelago comprises three isles, but the third, Mafia, falls under the mainland administratively.

Zanzibar formed a union government in 1964 with mainland Tanganyika, as it was then known, to establish the United Republic of Tanzania.

The CCM has been at the helm since 1977 after replacing a party that ruled the country since independence from Britain in 1961. -


Monday, 25 October 2010


Press conference at RSVP Much More where Co-founder of MTOKO designs discusses with a journalist about their designs for Malaria Hikubaliki being shown at Swahili Fashion Week 2010..

Anna McCartney-Melstad (L), three designers showacasing ideas from Malaria Haikubaliki campaign(Middle) and Fauziyat Abood, during the press conference at RSVP Much More, Dar es Salaam

African, Arab partnership must overcome history of slavery (Feature)

By Anaclet Rwegayura, PANA Correspondent Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - When Libyan leader Mouammar Kadhafi recently apologised on behalf of Arab countries that were involved in the African slave trade, some observers regarded his remarks as whimsical, especially because few are wil ling to broach new ideas about the denigration of human dignity engendered by the subjection of Africans to the evils of slave trade.

Many in Africa learnt about slavery as part of history lessons at school, while many have also seen or travelled along the trail of sites, towns, road markers a n d seaports retracing the Arab Slave Trade in Tanzania and in the rest of East Africa. Beyon d that, not much has happened.

According to available studies, more than five million Africans were captured, e nslaved, and shipped to the Middle East, India, Asia, and also to the West.

Today's African population abhors slavery as much as their ancestors did and, as it appears, many will want more than an apology. Analysts have however commende d the Libyan leader for his courage in not only talking openly about the issue but als o apologising on behalf of the Arab countries that were involved in slave trade.

''Though coming belatedly, brother Kadhafi's apology is commendable,'' said Edis on Maige, a retired Tanzanian teacher. ''No Arab leader had shown such courage a n d openness to admit the atrocities that their forefathers committed against the Af rican race.

''Despite the passage of time, hidden grudges are still there in our societies a gainst foreigners who perpetuated slave labour. Accounts of people who had suffe r ed under Arab slavery have been handed down from generation to generation. This explains why local people of Arab descent are sometimes detested, especially when they seek in fluential positions,'' Maige said.

As an outcome of entrenched slavery, Arabs became major planters of coconuts, cloves and other spices in Zanzibar and along East African coastal areas in the 1800s. The crops have since then been the economic mainstay of the islands, though their production no longer booms as they used to be until the 1970s.

Official abolition of slavery in the isles in 1897 did not make a big difference for the majority of the population. The abolition decree by the colonial rulers

and the measures taken to implement it, as it turned out, were designed to bolster Arab slave own ers, to tie ex-slaves to the plantations through contracts and to discourage the independence of workers.

For several years, it became apparent that the number of slaves who were being f reed remained modest and that ex-slaves were restricted from accessing free labour market.

According to records, the end of the slave trade in coastal East Africa, including Zanzibar, came through the gradual destruction of the complex networks that g a thered and distributed slaves.

Zanzibar's clove plantations had survived to enrich Arabs because of slave labour, while slavery itself became an integrated social system under which Africans w ere controlled as personal property.

The changing political landscape of East Africa greatly contributed to the freed om of slaves and reduced their economic dependence on Arab landowners. The expan s ion of British imperial activity increased the demand for caravan porters and Zanzibar became a centre of recruitment.

With Mombasa port in Kenya becoming a staging area for caravans to Uganda and co nstruction of the railway linking the two countries, new demand for workers were

Therefore, slave owners in Zanzibar witnessed a great exodus as slaves escaped t o freedom and new economic opportunities in railway camps.

Although the work in those camps was menial and often dangerous, a slave who deserted his master in the late 1890s could survive in dignity. Wages on the rail road were above the going rate for hired labour on the coast, where economic options for ex-slaves were narrower.

They had no difficulty with the concept of wage labour, but they wanted to contr ol the condition under which they worked, to make cash earnings part of their ec o nomic lives rather than to subordinate themselves to plantation labour. The fertile soils of Zanzibar made it possible for a small plot to produce enough crops for a family ' s subsistence and a surplus for sale.

With a cash income, they could buy all provisions for which they had in the past relied on their owner.

Arab landowners eventually failed to keep ex-slaves as personal dependents tied to their estates and, as the wind of freedom swept across sub-Saharan Africa, th e role of the Arab sultanate and the colonial state in Zanzibar came into question.

By 12 January 1964, the Arab predominance and their ruling structure were topple d by a revolution that gave birth to the present Zanzibar, where all citizens enjoy the social and economic benefits of the state.

Despite the history of slavery involving Arabs, however, the relationship betwee n Africa and the Arab world is not so much represented by the fate of slavery victims.

According to Maige, it is heartening to see African and Arab leaders coming together to put a new life in the relationship of their worlds.

''The basis of our relationship had to change fundamentally. We no longer accept subordination in whatever joint ventures the two sides may agree to undertake,' ' he said.

But Maige warned that African politicians should not use slave trade as an excus e for Africa's underdevelopment.

''Slave trade did not mean the demise of the African race. Renewed partnership w ith the Arab nations should not be a source of disputes with Africa, but it shou l d enable populations on both sides to advance to better standards of living beca u se we all need each other,'' he added.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Commonwealth to Deploy Election Observers

A Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) will be present during Tanzania's General Elections due to be held on 31 October 2010. The COG will be led by former New Zealand Attorney-General, Rt Hon Paul East QC.

The Group was constituted by Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, at the invitation of the National Electoral Commission of Tanzania.

"The Commonwealth has a history of engagement with Tanzania, and we are pleased to observe these important elections," the Secretary-General said. He went on, "We very much hope that they will further strengthen the democratic process and advance development in the country."

The Group's mandate is to observe the preparations for the election, the polling, the counting and the results process, and the overall electoral environment. The team will be there to assess the conduct of the process as a whole and, where appropriate, make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework in Tanzania, including the process in Zanzibar.

The Group will act impartially and independently, and will conduct itself according to the standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.

The Group's report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of Tanzania as well as to the authorities in Zanzibar, the National Electoral Commission, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission and political parties, and eventually to all Commonwealth Governments.

The Commonwealth Observer Group is expected to comprise 15 experienced persons, including the Chair. The team will arrive in Tanzania on 24 October 2010, and stay until 7 November 2010.

Commonwealth Observer Group - Tanzania 2010

Chair: Rt Hon Mr Paul East, QC, Former Attorney-General, New Zealand

Mrs Judy Hopwood MP, Member of Parliament, Australia

Ms Juliette Maughan, Youth Representative, Barbados

Mr Pierre Paul Martin, Elections Expert, Canada

Hon Omar Jallow, Politician, Gambia

Mrs Pauline Dadzawa, Election Commissioner, Ghana

Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, Politician, Guyana

Mr Akshay Rout, Director General, Election Commission, India

Ms Jane Godia, Media/Gender Expert, Kenya

Ms Cheryl Dorall, Media Consultant, Malaysia

Sheikh (Dr) Abdul Karimo, Co-ordinator, Elections Obsevatory, Mozambique

Mr Charles Munyaneza, Executive Secretary, National Election Commission, Rwanda

Mr Pesi Fonua, Publisher/Editor, Tonga

Hon Irene Ovonji-Odida, Former Member of the East African Legislative Assembly, Uganda

Mr Frank Martin, Former Diplomat, United Kingdom

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


From Left to Right Alex Galinoma from EATV & Radio, Saphia PR & Media SFW, Mustafa Hassanali organiser of SFW, Judith Muya of Southern Sun -Home of SFW and Washington Fashion Coordinator, during the 3rd SFW Launch.



The third annual Swahili Fashion Week will take place at Karimjee Gardens on the 4th, 5th and 6th November 2010 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

Swahili Fashion Week 2010 will collectively bring together 24 designers from Swahili speaking countries to showcase their creativity in designing a variety of clothing with an assortment of materials.

The Tanzanian designers showcasing at this years event are Ailinda Sawe, Manju Msita, Kemi Kalikawe, Christine Mhando, Shellina Ibrahim, Farha Naaz Sultan, Gabriel Mollel, Robi Morro, Asia Idarous, Zamda George, Khadija Mwanamboka, Jamilla Vera Swai and Made by Africa. Designers from Kenya to showcase are Sonu Sharma, Moo Cow, KikoRomeo, John Kaveke and Kooroo. Stella Atal from Uganda will also show her designs.

“In addition to the Fashion Show presentations, this year Swahili Fashion Week has incorporated Swahili Fashion Week Shopping Festival which will capture the spirit, style and essence of the Swahili coast” said Mustafa Hassanali, organiser of the event.

“Opening Swahili Fashion Week to a new audience, the Shopping Festival will showcase not only traditional Swahili arts and culture but the inspired innovation, and dynamic creativity of the modern Swahili speaking world, offering stalls to all participating fashion designers to exhibit and sell their unique, often hand-made clothing, accessories and products. Stall priority to those not on the runway will be given to artists, crafts-people, etc who are disabled or underprivileged”, added Hassanali.

Throughout the exhibition, there will be a variety of entertainment including performances from different music groups, henna painting and adornment and weaving. There will also be a choice of workshops for designers to participate in.

Swahili Fashion Week has organized several awards in order to recognise the prospective talent showcasing, these include the Emerging Designer Award, Best Runway Model and Best Swahili Fashion Week Shopping Festival stand.

Swahili fashion week 2010 has been sponsored by the home of Swahili Fashion Week - Southern Sun, Origin Africa, USAID Compete, EATV, East Africa Radio, Malaria Haikubaliki, BASATA (Baraza La Sanaa Taifa), Ultimate Security, Monier 2000, Colour Print Ltd, Global Outdoor Ltd, Amarula, Vayle Springs Ltd, ZG Films, Darling Hair, Danish make up designs, Nipashe, Bilicanas, Perfect Machinery Ltd, 1&1 Internet Solutions, Sengi Tours, iFashion and 361 Degrees.


Swahili Fashion week is a platform for designers – both fashion and accessory – from Swahili speaking countries to showcase their creativity, market their art and network with their clientele. This is all aimed at promoting fashion as an income generating, job creating industry while emphasizing a “Made in East Africa” concept.

Swahili Fashion Week is set to be an annual fashion extravaganza showcasing the best of creative talent in the fashion from Swahili Speaking countries. This being the regions highly acclaimed premier Fashion event founded created and conceptualised in year 2008 by Mustafa Hassanali

“Initiating a dynamic and promising platform for the fashion industry in the region, Swahili Fashion Week is geared towards being the most sought out fashion platform in Eastern Africa for the international market”, explained Mustafa Hassanali, founder and organizer of Swahili Fashion Week.


CONTACT PERSON: Saphia Ngalapi, Media & PR Manager
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +255-712-099834

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Judge Releases Full Ruling That Blocked Terror Trial Witness

Southern District of New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan on Thursday released his full opinion on the credibility of a critical witness he blocked from testifying at the trial of accused al-Qaida conspirator and U.S. Embassy bomber Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani.

In his 60-page opinion elaborating on his Oct. 6 three-page public order barring Hussein Abebe from the witness stand, Kaplan called Abebe's testimony "false" and "quite incredible" on the key issue of whether he was coerced into testifying by threat of prosecution either in New York or in Tanzania.

The judge also offered a more expansive review of the law concerning Abebe, a Tanzanian who allegedly sold the explosives to Ghailani used in the truck bomb detonated outside the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Aug. 7, 1998, 10 minutes after a similar bomb destroyed the embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. In all, 224 people, including 12 Americans, were killed and more than 4,000 were wounded.

The law in this matter was the Fifth Amendment, and the issue was whether Ghailani's right to be free from self-incrimination was violated because the identity and whereabouts of Mr. Abebe were "allegedly extracted by physical and psychological abuse of" Ghailani in a secret CIA prison.

Abebe, who one FBI agent testified "feared the knock at the door" after seeing Ghailani's face on Tanzanian television just after the bombings, was picked up in August 2006 and detained for 11 days.

He was first questioned by Tanzanian authorities and then visited by an FBI team that secured his promise to testify against Ghailani. The last four days of his detention were spent in lockup in Dar es Salaam. He was ultimately released on a bond describing him as having been "accused of committing the offense of conspiring to murder and terrorist acts."

That bond was eliminated over a year later after Abebe's brother-in-law, the chief judge of the Supreme Court of Tanzania, intervened on his behalf.

Abebe, who insists he is willing to testify voluntarily, flew to New York in August.

He was questioned in a two-day hearing before Kaplan in September, and the judge indicated then that his story did not add up. On Thursday, he made that even clearer.

"Abebe testified that he knew he was in trouble by the time he got to Zanzibar, but that he had no idea why he had been arrested until he was asked about the 1998 bombings in Zanzibar two days later," Kaplan wrote in his opinion. "This is quite incredible. Abebe had lived in fear of this arrest for years and understood from the moment he arrived at the police office in Arusha that the arrest related to the embassy bombings. He was very frightened."

The full opinion, the first extended analysis of the consequences of finding a witness through so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques," was released to the public Thursday after being vetted by a court security officer.

But the full opinion was delivered to lawyers on Oct. 6, giving the prosecution team led by Michael Farbiarz only a few days to decide whether to make an appeal as of right or finish jury selection and start Ghailani's trial.

The prosecution elected to proceed to a trial that Thursday completed its third day of testimony.

While the government's decision avoided a lengthy delay and the attendant risk that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals might make new law on "poisonous fruit" derived from illegal CIA interrogations of terror suspects, it also left Kaplan's opinion standing, giving it more force as precedent.

The prosecution has sought to avoid a head-on collision with judges over the consequences of the government's detention and interrogation program, a move that might isolate the law made here to the facts presented in Ghailani's case.

To that end, and no doubt for other reasons of strategy, the prosecution has vowed not to Ghailani's statements to the CIA and have admitted that he was abused only for purposes of the argument.

The judge's Oct. 6 decision prompted Ghailani defense lawyer Peter E. Quijano to claim a victory for the Fifth Amendment, telling the media, "This case will be tried upon lawfully obtained evidence only. Not coercion. Not torture."

The trial is being closely watched by people on all sides of the debate over whether terror suspects should be tried in civilian courts or whether trial by military commission is the better route. Ghailani is the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to be tried in civilian court.

The judge alluded to this controversy in footnotes in his opinion, United States v. Ghailani, S10 98 Crim. 1023.

"It is very far from clear that Abebe's testimony would be admissible if Ghailani were being tried by military commission, even without regard to the question whether the Fifth Amendment would invalidate any more forgiving provisions of the rules of evidence otherwise applicable in such a proceeding," the judge said.

Military Commissions Act §948r(a) and the Military Commission Rules of Evidence, Rule 304, he said, "preclude or restrict the use of 'statements obtained by torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,' and evidence derived therefrom, and could require exclusion of Abebe's testimony."

He added, "Even if they did not, the Constitution might do so, even in a military commission proceeding."

The judge in his opinion said Abebe's decision to testify in New York was not "a free and unconstrained" one.

"He quite plainly is no eager volunteer," the judge said. "He never would have come forward on his own. He is 'willing' to testify now only because he fears that things will go badly for him if he does not."

The judge also found hard to believe Abebe's statement at the hearing that he was coming forward to "cleanse" his heart and soul.

"If indeed Abebe's heart were moved by his having supplied the explosives that killed hundreds and wounded thousands of people, it would be very difficult to understand why he did not come forward on his own," the judge said. "The need for cleansing his heart and soul was at least as strong over the eight years before his arrest as it has been since."

The judge also explored further the distinction between the "deterrence analysis" of suppression under the Fourth and Fifth amendments, saying, "As this is a Fifth Amendment case, the receipt in evidence of Abebe's testimony itself would constitute a violation of the self-executing exclusionary rule inherent in the Constitution, not a matter of compliance with a purely utilitarian judge-made rule that was created in the twentieth century only to deter illegal searches and seizures."

He continued, "The CIA, acting upon the highest authority, used coercive methods to gain intelligence. This court has declined to this point to express an opinion on the constitutionality of such methods, considered in and of themselves. It declines to do so now because that issue is not before it.

"What is before it, however, is the question of whether the Fifth Amendment -- which provides that 'no person … shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself' -- is violated if a court receives in a criminal case evidence that is the fruit of statements coerced from the defendant, at least where the relationship between the coerced statements and the evidence is as close as it is here."

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani profile

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani is accused of involvement in the US embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, which killed more than 200 people.

Mr Ghailani, a Tanzanian, was arrested in Pakistan in July 2004 and handed over to the US at the beginning of 2005.

He was one of 14 detainees transferred in September 2006 from secret CIA prisons abroad to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba.

And he is the first former Guantanamo Bay detainee to go on trial in a civilian court in the US.

He pleaded not guilty in June 2009 to charges of conspiring to commit the embassy bombings. If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

According to a transcript of a closed-door hearing in March 2007, Mr Ghailani admitted delivering explosives used to blow up the US embassy in Tanzania in 1998.

However, he said he did not know about the attack beforehand and apologised to the US government and the victims' families, the transcript said.

'Scouting the embassy'
A short, squat man, Mr Ghailani is said to have had dozens of aliases, including "Foopie" and "Ahmed the Tanzanian".

The bombings in Tanzania and Kenya were almost simultaneous
He is thought to have been born on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar in 1970 or 1974, making him 40 or 36 years old, and is said to speak fluent Swahili and English.

He was number eight on the FBI's most wanted list - his baby-faced photograph belying the severity of the charges on which he was indicted by New York authorities in 1998.

The Tanzanian national is accused of buying the truck that carried the bomb used in the Dar es Salaam attack.

He and his accomplices are also accused of buying oxygen and acetylene tanks used to enhance the force of the explosion.

He is also said to have escorted the bomb maker between Dar es Salaam and the Kenyan city of Mombasa after the bomb was made as well as scouting the US embassy with the suicide bomb driver.

The near-simultaneous bombings in August 1998 killed 213 people in Nairobi and 11 people in Dar es Salaam as well as injuring thousands more. Twelve Americans were among the dead.

Big bounty
Analysts described Mr Ghailani as a very important figure, who was probably sent to East Africa at the time of the bombings by Osama Bin Laden's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

It is suggested that Mr Ghailani fled to Afghanistan after being indicted in 1998.

According to the US transcript, he admitted visiting an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan after the bombings. But he denied being a member of al-Qaeda.

Mr Ghailani was reported to have been in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, in 2001, with another suspect in the embassy bombings, a Kenyan man Fazul Abdullah Mohammed.

The UK's Observer newspaper reported in 2002 that the two men allegedly ran a lucrative al-Qaeda financing operation, trading illegal "blood diamonds" for cash.

The paper said the operation ran into trouble in June 2001, when reports reached al-Qaeda that Mr Ghailani and Mr Mohammed were lavishing money on women, presents and alcohol.

In May 2003, the FBI named Mr Ghailani on a list of seven people it suspected of concocting a fresh al-Qaeda plot, and increased the bounty on his head to $5m.

On 25 July 2004, he was arrested in Pakistan along with his Uzbek wife.

Pakistani officials at the time said Mr Ghailani's arrest was the most significant since the detention in March 2003 of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the 11 September attacks on the US.


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Tanzania: The Use of Social Media in 2010 Tanzania General Election

Tanzania will go to the polls on October 30, 2010 and the general election campaign is well underway. As the campaigns heat up, presidential candidates and other candidates fighting for parliamentary seats are using new media tools to communicate with potential voters. Along with campaign rallies, which target the majority of the population, a small number of politicians have started to use social media tools such as blogs, online videos, Facebook and twitter to create deeper engagement with voters.

It is hard to accurately comment on the impact of the ongoing online campaigns because of lack of up-to-date statistics on usage of social media tools in Tanzania. The number of Tanzanians using the Internet is still small in comparison to the total population. In a country of 41 million people there are only 676,000 Internet users representing 1.6% of the total population. Among those with access to the internet there are only 141,580 Facebook users, with 74% of them aged between 18-34 years.

Whether created by fans or formal campaign officials, there are a few websites, blogs, facebook pages and twitter accounts running campaigns for presidential candidates and those fighting for parliamentary seats from the ruling CCM party. The official website of the current president and the ruling CCM party candidate, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, has a link to a facebook page with more than 4,500 followers. There is also another facebook page dedicated to Mr Kikwete with more than 13,500 fans.

Kikwete’s running mate who is also the candidate for the Vice President's post, Dr. Gharib Bilal, has more than one campaign websites. One site is linked to Mr Kikwete’s website and Dr. Bilal’s twitter account, while the other website has a link to a facebook page dedicated to his campaign.

One of the opposition parties presidential candidates Dr. Wilbrod Slaa from CHADEMA party has a facebook page linked from his official website with about 910 fans. Likewise there are more than two facebook pages dedicated to Dr. Slaa’s campaign with about 9000 people who ‘like’ Dr. Slaa. He also has a twitter account with very few tweets.

Similar to Tanzania Mainland, election manifestos, pictures and videos of the campaign rallies are on display on the websites of the Zanzibar’s CCM presidential candidate Dr Ali Mohamed Shein as well as on his main opposition contender Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad from the Civic United Front (CUF).

Announced mostly through twitter and blogs, online campaign videos with clips from election rallies have so far received a little more than 12,000 views in total at the time of writing this post. Some of the videos appear to have been uploaded directly from the rallies, like this one from CHADEMA’s Kigoma North candidate, Hon. Zitto Kabwe

More details click here