Zanzibari President Hussein Ali Mwinyi has appointed Othman Masoud Othman as the new First Vice-President of the semi-autonomous Tanzanian archipelago.

Othman replaces Seif Sharif Hamad, who died on February 17, 2021, of Covid-19 complications. Veteran politician Hamad was the Zanzibar chairman and presidential contender of the island’s main opposition the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo).

The party accepted the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi invitation to join the government in December last year.

According to Zanzibar Constitution, a party that gets at least 10 per cent of the presidential votes will take the position of the First Vice- President and form the government with the winning party.

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Speaking earlier on Monday, 1st March, to journalists, President Mwinyi had intimated that he had an important announcement to make.

At the press briefing, journalists had decried the late release of communication from State House, Zanzibar. denying newspapers and television stations the opportunity for extensive coverage on major issues.

“I have heard your concerns. In that regard I have to leave here earlier because later today there will be an important announcement to share with you,” he told the cheering members of the media.

According to the Zanzibar Constitution, the President should name the successor of the First or Second Vice-President within 14 days following their demise.

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“And following powers vested on him through Article 39(4) of the Zanzibar Constitution of 1984 and after consultations with ACT-Wazalendo, the President of Zanzibar and chairman of the Revolutionary Council, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, has appointed Mr Othman Masoud Othman Sharif to be the First Vice-President,” reads the statement from State House.

Mr Othman is a member of the opposition ACT-Wazalendo, whose party leader Zitto Kabwe told the media earlier on Monday that they had submitted the name of the late Hamad’s successor to President Mwinyi, the appointing authority.

“The candidate conforms with the party’s criteria of advocating reconciliation and unity,” he said.

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