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A zanzibar problem is a constitutional one.

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Sheria (The Law Forum)' started by Rutashubanyuma, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

    Sep 25, 2010
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
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    (By Rutashubanyuma Nestory)

    The Sunday Citizen editorial commentary of January 14, 2007 certainly took the Zanzibar problem by its horns when it reviewed the historical circumstances the hatchet was carved. The erstwhile nemesis in Zanzibar truly needs to bury their differences and forge a common future together. How can they do it?

    The first step is for the Zanzibaris to acknowledge that the Revolution was designed to benefit every segment of the Zanzibari populace and without any form of discrimination. The challenge lies in reviewing a current constitutional setup on whether the letter and the spirit of the Revolution have been observed. Few greed individuals have devised ways to limit ownership of the Revolution cause claiming those who were allegedly siding with the Sultan should not benefit from the cause. This proposition has both racial and geographical demarcations aiming to isolate certain communities from contributing in the development agenda of their own country through a series of constitutional and legal framework which justify those negative aspirations.

    While through goodwill and a powerful foresight from the chief architect of the union of the Tanzanian Republic Mwalimu J. K. Nyerere, a Zanzibari from a minority section of the union rose to be the Union President while the Zanzibari Presidency has always been a preserve of the Ungujans! Pembas condemned through unwritten constitutional provisions can hardly ascend beyond the Ministerial docket where only through one party rule system that a Pemba was able to be accommodated upto Chief Ministerial post and no further! To most Ungujans when they talk of more posts for Zanzibaris, they rarely include Pembas in that equation. Out of this, the distribution of local and union positions between Unguja and Pemba defies any demographic considerations and at the benefit of the former. One should not be fooled with a perennial Pemba at the union Deputy Presidential level since 1995 when multiparty elections were reintroduced. The C.C.M party in its wisdom saw the value to accommodate a Pemba and not an Ungujan to that top position. This token symbolism obscures the fact that Pembas are marginalized lot when compared to their Ungujan kindred.
    A constitution which overlooks human behaviour is a cause for concern and certainly the Zanzibari constitution that remains silent on those fundamental differences bequeathed by history needs a revision or those articles will be overtaken by events. The rulers in Zanzibar have been hiding under constitutional scapegoats to justify the maintenance of the status quo irrespective of socio-economic and political costs incurred. Such rulers are doing a disservice not only to the Zanzibar archipelago but also to the union and East African Community at large. Some of the union problems are inherent from the Zanzibari constitutional contradictions. A refusal to include marginalized Pemba in a manner that will reflect demographic and geographical realities between sisterly islands does not augur well even to the union government. The leaders in Zanzibar who clamour for better union representation while suppressing the same aspirations at their own backyard are doing disservice to their own people. We should learn to practice what we preach rather than preaching what we have no intention of practicing.

    The Zanzibari constitution needs to be overhauled to ensure whichever political party wins an election can not use the articles to suppress the legitimate claims of one island from the other in terms of allotment of leadership positions. For start, if a Zanzibari Presidency goes to one part of the Islands then the Chief Ministerial docket should go to the other one. Ministerial, regional and district posts should also respect the voting patterns. A government of national unity should be of a necessity if this is what voters have spoken while anything else will insult that democratic voice. Democracy is all about listening and implementing what voters have spoken through their votes, anything else is a mockery of democratic principles.
    [This columnist is a public policy analyst and a businessman based in Arusha]
  2. Mtu wa Pwani

    Mtu wa Pwani JF-Expert Member

    Oct 23, 2010
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    naomba kwenye katiba ya zanzibar atuwekee nnataka nimpatie swahibu wangu mkjj kipengle cha mzanzibari ni nani kwa mujibu wa katiba