US agency cuts aid to Tanzania over disputed Zanzibar poll

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A U.S. government agency has suspended development aid to Tanzania over concerns about a disputed presidential election in the semi-autonomous island archipelago of Zanzibar.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation said it had suspended its partnership with Tanzania following Zanzibar’s March 20 runoff vote that was boycotted by the main opposition parties.

In a statement Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to Tanzania, Mark B. Childress, said he fully supports the agency’s decision to stop its activities developing Tanzania’s energy sector.

The agency said in a statement Monday that the election in Zanzibar, which Tanzania’s ruling party won with more than 91 percent of the votes, was neither inclusive nor representative.

Zanzibar’s election commission annulled results of the presidential election in October that the opposition party Civic United Front believes it won.