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Comoros Island Demands Resignation of President Sambi

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.

"I 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.

"So 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," he said.

Mchangama 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.