Amani Abeid Karume (age 74)

November 1, 1948
Sultanate of Zanzibar

[Amani Abeid Karume] Introduction

Amani Abeid Karume is a Tanzanian politician and former president of Zanzibar who served from 8 November 2000 to 3 November 2010. He is the son of Abeid Karume, Zanzibar's first president, and a member of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party. Karume was born on 1 November 1948.

[Amani Abeid Karume] Early life and career

Amani Abeid Karume, born in 1948, was educated at Lumumba Secondary School before pursuing a career as an accountant. In the 1970s, he held various senior positions in the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, including Chief Treasurer (1970–1971), Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Finance (1971–1974), Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Planning (1974–1978), and Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Transport (1978–1980). He then spent the 1980s working as a private consultant before re-entering the world of politics and being elected to the Zanzibar House of Representatives in 1990 from the Raha Leo constituency. He was re-elected in 1995 in multiparty polls.

[Amani Abeid Karume] Political career

Amani Abeid Karume entered politics in 1990 when he ran for Raha Leo constituency as a Zanzibar Member of Parliament. He was then nominated as the Minister of Trade from 1990-1995 by President Salmin Amour and then re-elected for the same constituency in 1995 and chosen as the Minister of Communication and Transportation. In October 2000, when he ran as CCM presidential candidate for Zanzibar, he won 67.04% of the vote in an election marred by irregularities and criticized by international observers. The controversy led to massive demonstrations, particularly in the island of Pemba where police opened fire on demonstrators, killing thirteen people. In October 2005, Karume was re-elected by winning 53.18% of the vote, but the election was again contested with many irregularities according to the Zanzibar Electoral Commission. Karume was married and the father of six adult children. Late in 2009, he initiated peace talks with his counterpart, Seif Sharif Hamad of the Civic United Front, CUF. This was followed by a referendum in July 2010, with the Zanzibari people voting yes to a government of National unity. Finally, after the first internationally declared peaceful and fair democratic elections in November 2010, Karume handed over his presidency to Ali Mohamed Shein from the triumphant CCM party.

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  • Politician