Zanzibar Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Othman Masoud Othman has said the present form of the Union Government whereby President of Zanzibar is no longer Union Vice President following the 11th constitutional amendments is inappropriate. Othman, presenting a paper at the Isles EACROTANAL centre, said the amendments effectively ended the Union because the Zanzibar President no longer has a say in the Union Government. According to the DPP before the changes, the Isles President was part of the Union Government and took part in major decisions in Government of the United Republic. He added that the present arrangement does not present the sense of unity between the two parts of the union. He explained that based on the present constitution, the President of Zanzibar has limited powers even in the isles affairs since he is not a member of the cabinet and has no executive powers in the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. Lets ask ourselves, what important role does the Union Vice President have when he isnt a member of the cabinet; he has no authority whatsoever in Zanzibar, he stressed. He said this means the only link between the Isles and the Union Government totally lacks any form of authority in the Isles and stressed the need to review the present status as well as identifying afresh union matters. He stated that the number of Union matters have seen a big increase in the union matters to 31, up from 11. He stressed that the issue should be addresse when writing a new constitution He spoke of conflicting aspects between the constitutions of the two parts, citing Article 64 of the Union Constitution that allows the laws passed in Parliament to be applied in the isles but Article 132 (1) of 1984 Zanzibar Constitution states that all laws which do not relate to Union matters be endorsed by the |House of Representatives before being applied in the isles. He claimed that Zanzibar is not adequately represented in Parliament, saying the last Parliament had only 64 MPs and insisted that the number of MPs from the two sides should not depend on the population and geographical size of the respective parts of the Union. He said there is a need to consider afresh the requirement that changes in the number of Union matters can be effected only if they are endorsed by two thirds of MPs from each side of the country union. On his part, the House of Representatives lawyer Yahya Hamad Khamis claimed that according to his findings, most Union documents were signed by the first President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. He went on to say that the Union exists only in theory, and not legally claiming that the necessary documents were signed by the leader of only one side of the country. He said new Union matters have been added on to old ones over the years and said this is something that needs to be examined in depth when the process to debate a new Constitution for Tanzania gets underway. ZANTEL engineer Ali Khamis said he is surprised to learn that the Union challenges have existed for such a long time but Zanzibar has done little to address them to arrive at necessary solutions. Isles veteran journalist Salim Said Salim, said the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar was not created in a transparent manner and said that background is the source of the prevailing problems. He said Zanzibars Prime Minister the late Kassim Hanga and the Attorney General Wolfang Dourado did not take part in the process of forming the Union government. Salim explained that some leaders and many wananchi in both Zanzibar and the Mainland do not understand the fundamental issues of the union, with regard to union and non-union matters. Making the public to understand more about the governments responsibility, he added. A participant at the ongoing discussions, Miraji Khamis Kiongwe, said it is time that anyone elected to lead Zanzibar should be one whose grandparents were born in the isles to ensure they represented the Isles interests well. He asserted that Zanzibar has been failing to demand its rights because of weak leaders who are unable to put the countrys interest first, leading to complaints regarding the Union. The meeting has been organised by Zanzibar Legal Service Centre (ZLSC).