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Fact Finding Missions - Zanzibar

Kituo cha Katiba participated in the Fact-finding Mission to Zanzibar,  under the auspices of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ),  with the objective of investigating the human rights violations that  followed the October 29, 2001 elections on the island.

The principal goal of the mission was to critically examine the Muafaka agreement as a basis for fostering  peaceful constitutional development in Zanzibar, as well as assessing the progress made by the Muafaka initiative in Zanzibar. The mission interacted with a cross-section of people representing the broad spectrum of political views on both the general state of constitutional development and on the Muafaka process in particular.

The delegation met with government officials, the joint Presidential Supervisory Commission (JPSC), members of both the governing and opposition political parties, a former president and chief minister's, current and former Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) members, officials of the judiciary, NGO activists, academics, Parliamentarians, civil service retirees, religious leaders, youth, the media, the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and donors. The mission held interviews at Pemba, Unguja and Dar-es-Salaam. Our findings are mainly concerned with issues of a constitutional or governance nature.

The main recommendations of the mission were:

  • There needs to be a comprehensive discussion of constitutional and governance issues in Tanzania that encompasses both the current constitutional instruments, as well the content of laws and regulations that do not pass the test of constitutional muster.
  • It is essential to have a frank, candid and comprehensive discussion of all aspects of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, with a focus not only on what the union was intended to be, but also on what it has actually evolved into, and in which direction the people's of Tanzania and Zanzibar want it to develop.
  • There is a need for the comprehensive intra-Zanzibari dialogue focusing on specific aspects of Zanzibar's constitutional and governance arrangements and specifically those issues (such as citizenship) that have the tendency to promote feelings of xenophobia and political persecution.
  • Mechanisms for civic and political education, and especially for the promotion of greater citizenship participation need to be put in place in Zanzibar.
  • The Muafaka Process is commended for providing a positive dispute settlement mechanism as well as a tool for progressive negotiations. The dialogue among the top party leadership should nevertheless be replicated at the village level.
  • The independence of the judiciary should be entrenched in the Constitution, through ensuring security of tenure and the creation of a credible and independent Judicial Service Commission.  CUF and CCM need to be more tolerant and appreciative of each other as political competitors. The Mission emphasizes that there is an acute need in Zanzibar to move away from the 'winner take all' attitude.

The mission to Zanzibar was headed by Hon. Abubaker Zein, a member of the Kenya Constitutional Review Commission.