Published on Thursday, 12 January 2012 04:40 Written by ISSA YUSSUF President Ali Mohamed Shein. AS Zanzibar gets closer to marking half a century since the January 12, 1964 revolution, there is an emerging thought that the Zanzibaris should start celebrating Independence Day which was attained on December 10, 1963. Those pushing for the recognition of the Independence Day are youths, but most of the elderly people particularly those who took part in the revolution are opposing the idea of celebrating and promoting the Independence Day. It is unacceptable to celebrate the December 10, 1963 Independence Day for Zanzibar, and those doing so should know that they are doing wrong and misleading Zanzibaris. The only day that Zanzibaris are supposed to celebrate is the January 12, 1964 Revolution, simply because Zanzibar gained its complete freedom on that particular day, says Mr Hassan Nassor Moyo. Mr Moyo, one of the few remaining elderly men who fought to overthrow the after independence government under the Prime Minister Mohamed Shamte, argues that although it is undeniable and a fact that the British granted independence to Zanzibar on December 10, 1963, we cannot celebrate it because that was a phony independence, he argues. He says that youths should be informed that January 12, was a Liberation Day, when Zanzibaris stood up to overthrow the Sultan government. For three years now, some youths including a section of Zanzibaris in Diaspora have attempted to promote the December 10, 1963, urging people to celebrate on ground that Zanzibar independence should be recognized by the government and the Zanzibaris at large. But Mr Rashid Adiy, one of the anti-union activists in the Isles, says that celebrating December 10 was important because it shows when Zanzibar was recognized internationally including getting a seat at the United Nations (UN). The Republic of Zanzibar was independent on December 10, 1963 but Zanzibaris were not free until January 12, 1964. Therefore both December 10 and January 12 are important to Zanzibaris and the government should put both days in its public holidays calendar, Rashid says. Omar Kombo, a man who considers himself as neutral man in politics says, I think we should combine the two big days and celebrate on December 10 to minimize celebration costs and also to value the Independence Day, because Revolution Day celebrations remind Zanzibaris of their beloved ones lost during the Revolution, he says. After prolonged pressure for independence, ultimately Britain surrendered and granted independence in 1963, and the monarchy government was formed with Afro-Shiraz Party (ASP) being the official opposition. We signed to agree the independence, but we were unhappy with the formation of the government and therefore we were frustrated by under-representation in Parliament despite winning 54 per cent of the vote in the July 1963 election, Moyo says. Zanzibars Independence on December 10, 1963 meant that British army had to leave. This was a big chance for us to get organized and liberate our country. ASP allied with the left-wing Umma Party led by late Abdurrahman Babu and Othman Sharif, mobilized revolutionaries to overthrow the monarchy government, he adds. Moyo says that the after December 10, 1963 government would have survived if Britain had handed over the power to ASP which was leading the majority Africans, because revolution would not be necessary.The old man says: The January 12, 1964 revolution led by John Okello was just the conclusion of Zanzibaris African struggle for human right. Some people think the Revolution was planned over night; it was a struggle which had gone on for many years through workers' organizations, he says. Okello was one of the strongmen who helped to end the almost 200 years of Arab rule in Zanzibar, but unfortunately Okello, the man who originated from Uganda, misbehaved after the fall of sultanate government. He regarded himself as Zanzibar president even after Abeid Karume was chosen, then that was the end of him. Moyo, 78, who is currently the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) Board Chairman, says he is proud to lead academicians at the university. He says he enjoys working with the young professors at the university, but it is wrong to think that only educated people can be good leaders and administrators in the government. History has proved the concept wrong. After revolution we had very few people such as Aboud Jumbe, and Kassim Hanga who were educated, but our government recorded many achievements for its people. Arguably our government after the 1964, with no people with PhDs and Masters, did the best compared to any government which followed later, says Moyo who served in the revolutionary government as minister of agriculture, communications, and education. He was also minister of legal affairs, and home affairs in the union government. Moyo says that he is pro-change, and supports the idea of giving youths chance to hold key posts instead of ignoring them, because we want new ways of things, innovative idea to spearhead development. He says that it the time for philosophical revolution, and people should not be afraid of change since development have been one of the objectives for the revolution in 1964. We have recorded a lot of achievements in the past 48 years since revolution, and leaders should not hesitate to accept that there are still challenges to overcome, says Moyo. Moyo mentions the three-acre distribution of land to mainly poor people after the 1964 revolution, free education to all, and availability of health centres, as some of the big achievement in the 48 years of Zanzibar revolution. He also says that Zanzibaris should be proud of the current Government of National Unity (GNU) as a big achievement in Zanzibars political history because unity and peace remain vital for development.