The announcement to boycott the census was made by Uamsho leader Sheikh Farid Hadji Ahmed, who said that they were also supporting the call by Muslims on the Mainland to their followers to boycott the exercise.
“We have decided to join our colleagues in Tanzania Mainland, we now ask our followers to boycott the census. But in Zanzibar we also insist that the census should wait until we attain sovereignty,”Sheikh Ahmed said at a news conference in Zanzibar.
He told reporters that the organizations will campaign against the national census because “it is not the interest of Zanzibaris now. Our priority is Zanzibar’s sovereignty. We are determined to explore all legal avenues to fight Zanzibar’s rights in the Union.”
Meanwhile Sheikh Farid said that all Islamic organizations in Zanzibar had decided to take part in the constitution review process. He appealed to their followers to be ready to give their views to the Warioba Constitution Commission.
“Initially we were planning to boycott the exercise. But we have now been assured that our views will be accommodated, including our demand for sovereignty, we want our president to be recognized abroad,” he said.
Sheikh Farid appealed to Muslims in Zanzibar to unite and give their views to Warioba Commission, saying the issue of sovereignty would guide their participation. The Association for Islamic Mobilization andPropagation (AIMP), famously known as UAMSHO has been campaigning through public rallies against the union between Zanzibar and Tanganyika blaming the union government of fleecing Zanzibar economically.