Zanzibar President Dr. Hussein Mwinyi on Wednesday led top national leaders, government executives and ordinary citizens in special prayers for the founding Isles leader Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume.
Tanzanians commemorated the 49th death Anniversary of the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution legend, who was assassinated on April 7, 1972 at the Chama Cha Mapinduzi's (CCM) Kisiwandui main office.
Besides Dr. Mwinyi who arrived at the prayers venue at 9:58am, other dignitaries were Union President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa; Zanzibar's First and Second Vice-Presidents Othman Masoud Othman and Hemed Suleiman Abdulla, respectively.
The religious-cum-political event also attracted former Union and Zanzibar Presidents - Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Amani Abeid Karume and Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein - as well as former Union Vice-President Dr. Mohamed Ghalib Bilal and former Zanzibar Second VicePresident Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi.
Former Chief Minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha, serving Ministers in the Zanzibar and Union Government were also among the high profile attendees. Administering the 32-minute prayers, Sheikh Mohammed Abbas described the late Karume as an outstanding Leader, who left a discernible legacy, which still guides the Islanders 49 years in his absence. He said during his nine-year reign, the late Karume performed great things towards improvement of the welfare of wananchi as per the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution's objective.
Sheikh Shaaban Batwashi from Zanzibar Maulamaa Council said during his leadership, former President Karume led the country on the basis of fairness and equality, with people's social and economic development being the key goal. After the prayers, President Mwinyi led other leaders to lay wreaths on the grave of the former leader.
He was later followed by President Samia, Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Venance Mabeyo and Ali Abeid Karume, the Karume's family leader. Zanzibar Mufti Sheikh Saleh Kabi admired the late Karume as a unique leader, who postponed his Islamic pilgrimage subject to improvement of the social and economic welfare of Zanzibaris.
The late leader reportedly vowed never to perform one of the five pillars of Islam unless all Zanzibaris had decent food, shelter and clothes.
"Our former Leader was right because he wanted to do great things for Wananchi," said the Mufti.
Zanzibaris, as they commemorate 49 years without Karume, still appreciate the leader who worked hard to cement unity, solidarity and reconciliation among the Islanders after the 1964 revolutions.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people including clerics and politicians from the ruling CCM party gathered at Kizimkazi village, South Unguja home of President Samia Suluhu Hassan to pray for her, so that she serves Tanzanians better.
The special prayers (Dua) were led by the Mufti of Zanzibar Sheikh Saleh Kabi and the Deputy Secretary General of CCM Dr. Abdalla Juma Saadala 'Mabodi', who said that prayers are important for Mama Samia as she has stepped up for the biggest task of leading the Nation.
"As we pray for the departed President John Magufuli, we should ask God to safeguard our new President Mama Samia, so that she has wisdom, health, and commitment to lead us in achieving development goals," Mr. Saadala said.
The Mufti of Zanzibar also put emphasis on having frequent prayers for both President Samia and the Zanzibar's Dr. Hussein Mwinyi because they need prayers now to move the United Republic of Tanzania forward.