POLITICIANS and religious leaders have been urged to foster understanding between groups, particularly young people in an effort to promote peace, tolerance and stability in the country.
The advice was given by the District Commissioner (DC) for Unguja South District Mr Rajab Yussuf Mkasaba, when officiating a sports bonanza on peace building organised by the Zanzibar Female Lawyers Association (ZAFELA) in Paje Village.
The bonanza was among activities to implement a campaign project known as “Together for Peace “or in Swahili named as ‘AmaniYetu, MshikamanoWetu’ in Zanzibar, being implemented by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and ZAFELA, and co-funded by the European Union (EU).
Speaking on behalf of the Regional Commissioner (RC) for Unguja South Region, Mr Mkasaba said politicians, religious, and members of faith-based organisations are better positioned to promote and ensure that peace, tolerance, and stability in the communities are maintained, as prerequisite in achieving development goals and delivery of services.
“Peace has been prioritised by the eighth phase government. Everyone should be a good ambassador to advocate for peace in the country through different ways including sports, which is also an opportunity for physical exercise to reduce risks of contracting Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs),” he said.
He said sports contribute to peace, security and stability, and also unite people to the advantage of development.
ZAFELA Director MsJamila Mahmoud explained that the project aims at engaging all people, in different ways, particularly youth in maintaining peace and promoting smooth democracy.
Initially, the coordinator of ‘AmaniYetu, MshikamanoWetu’ in Zanzibar project, Mr Almas Mohammed Ali, said it targets young people, women, community and leaders from selected, political parties namely CCM, CUF, CHADEMA and ACT-Wazalendo.
He said the project aims at contributing to conflict resolution and a peaceful political environment through improving a more trustful relationship between the different political parties, their supporters, mainly youth, and the ordinary population in Zanzibar.
“As we come to an end o the project which started in February last year, notable achievements have been recorded because political parties agreed on maintaining peace and challenge one anther without hatred, and we hope the achievements will be maintained,” MrAlmasi said.
The KAS Director Dr Tilmanstone Feltes said the institute has been in the country for a considerable number of years, doing its work in collaboration with various groups including young religious leaders, political parties and specific groups. More than 600 people were expected to be reached during the one year of the project.
The project also reached out to other groups which are youth and women wings of four political parties; politicians especially councilors; religious leaders; Civil Society Organizations and the general population located in two islands of Unguja and Pemba through different activities.