Leaders of Zanzibar
Abeid Amani Rashid Karume 26 Apr 1964 - 7 Apr 1972
Mwinyi Aboud Jumbe 11 Apr 1972 - 30 Jan 1984
Ali Hassan Mwinyi 30 Jan 1984 - 24 Oct 1985 CCM (acting to 19 Apr 1984)
Idris Abdul Wakil 24 Oct 1985 - 25 Oct 1990 (+2000)
Salmin Amour 25 Oct 1990 - 8 Nov 2000
Amani Abeid Karume 8 Nov 2000 -
Ramadani Baki 21 Feb 1983 - 6 Feb 1984 CCM
Seif Shariff Hamad 6 Feb 1984 - 22 Jan 1988 CCM
Omar Ali Juma 25 Jan 1988 - Oct 1995 (+2001) CCM
Muhammad Gharib Bilal Oct 1995 - 15 Nov 2000 CCM
Shamsi Vuai Nahodha 15 Nov 2000 -
Strains in the Union
Zanzibar celebrated its 42nd anniversary of its revolution with President Amani Abeid Karume calling on Zanzibaris to unite for Indipendence
The president also underscored the need for Zanzibaris to unite and fight for independence saying without it the Independence , revolution would be meaningless.
Zanzibar's prospects for peace and stability partly depend on its relations with mainland Tanzania. This relationship is dependent upon the willingness of the people of Zanzibar to sustain the union as well as on the existence of a reasonable working relationship between the two main parties: the CCM and CUF. Following two chaotic and disputed elections (in 1995 and 2000) and a massacre of opposition protesters on Pemba in January 2001, the October 2001 accord between the two parties prompted a decline in separatist fervour and calmed the political situation, leading to peaceful by-elections in May 2003. However, it is vital that the more peaceful atmosphere continues until and beyond the October 2005 legislative elections.
Some Zanzibaris complain that the standard of living on the islands has fallen in comparison with development on the mainland, although there seems little to support the notion that mainlanders have in some way been favoured. Indeed, Zanzibar certainly punches above its weight in political terms within the union. Nonetheless, the Zanzibar economy and budget have certainly faced problems of late. GDP growth rates, foreign investment and foreign aid all lag behind the mainland, largely as a result of the loss of overseas confidence in the government and economy following the chaotic 1995 and 2000 elections on the islands. Foreign development aid to Zanzibar was restored following the October 2001 peace accord but remains vulnerable. Another reason is the sharp decline in proceeds of tourism after the perceived rise of radical Islam and political violence on the islands. The last reason is Pemba island's dependence on clove production, which suffers from fluctuating production and prices, plus smuggling to Kenyan markets.
The success of the CUF opposition in the May 2003 by-elections indicates that the 2005 legislative and presidential polls will be closely fought and, if fairly conducted, could see the islands' first political transition since the revolution of 1964. Indeed, this would be the first challenge to the monopoly of power exercised by the entire CCM and its precursor party since independence of the mainland in 1961. Any efforts by the CCM authorities to subvert the conduct of the polls, as happened in the two previous elections, would certainly meet a violent reaction on the islands and renew calls from some sectors for separation. It would also likely result in a renewed international aid embargo, which could sharpen the crisis.
Apart from the desire of many Zanzibaris to resist mainland control, the territory is increasingly trying to assert its own identity in a positive way, although whether this will encourage or calm any future claims for greater autonomy or independence remains to be seen. In 2004, the government decided to adopt a Zanzibari flag and also succeeded in securing membership of Fifa, the governing body of world football, enabling a Zanzibari team to contest the qualifying competitions for both the African Cup of Nations and the Fifa World Cup.