The President of the Comoros Islands, Ahmed
Abdallah Mohamed Sambi is coming under intense pressure after some Comorians
demonstrated in the capital, Moroni, demanding his resignation. Critics of
President Sambi are accusing him of failing to live up to his promises two
years after he was voted into power. This comes after health workers went on an
indefinite strike to press home their demands for better remuneration and the
complaints of civil servants for not being paid over the last six months. But
the government dismissed the accusations, saying President Sambi would keep to
his word despite shocks the economy has been experiencing after a worldwide
increase in fuel and food prices. Mohammed Mchangama is the chairman of the
mayors association of Grande Comore. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the
capital, Moroni that Comorians are sick and tired of President Sambi.
fully understand that the population is sick and tired of what is going on here
because they have been deprived of everything. All three islands are
practically dead of activity because of the oil crisis here and because of the
government that has not been able to foresee the situation, not in terms of
price hikes, but just to import enough oil at the right time. The prices have
gone too high, and nothing is going on here so far. So, Comorians are sick and tired of President Sambi and
especially taking into account that there was much hope in this man who has
promised so many things, to fight against poverty, to give dissent housing in a
short time and so on," Mchangama noted.
He said Comorians are
worried there seem to be a breakdown of President Sambi's government.
yes, many are hoping and calling for his resignation. So far there has been no
institution, and no political party as such, that has called for his
resignation. It is the general population, and it is a popular feeling here,"
said President Sambi's government has not been successful in meeting the
demands of what the administration is required to do.
"The crisis here is not just
about food. It is much more than that. Nothing is functioning down here because
there is a strike action in hospitals where doctors are not working as well as
nurses, and that has been going on for months. These are not due to price
hikes, but it is because the president and the government have not been
functioning at all. And there is nobody to discuss these problems with the
unions. So you could see that there is a huge problem with the union government
of President Sambi because for six months, civil servants have not been paid.
And this is a crisis that has been affecting all sectors of our economy,"
Mchangama pointed out.
He described President Sambi
as not a team player in his own government.
"One has the feeling that
President Sambi behaves rather like a dictator with no efficient team. He
thinks that he has been elected and the country is his, and he has chosen for
that sake people who have no personality in the government. For him, his
ministers are just caretakers and are people who are just there not to lead in
their various ministries, but people that he can use as he likes. So Comorians
don't feel there is any government. I mean, you don't have a feeling of a team
that is united because they have a common goal, common purpose," he said.
Mchangama reiterated that
Comorians don't feel there is a government that represents them.
"There is no government as
such. There is Mr. Sambi, and some guys that he has appointed. Whether Mr.
Sambi would resign or not I don't know. I think Mr. Sambi has been thinking of
changing the constitution so it would suit him. For now, President Sambi is not
saying anything, and people don't know what he is thinking about. He is quite
absent and it seems there is no head of state," Mchangama pointed out.