The government has admitted that some of the agreements that formed the basis of the 10th amendment of the Zanzibar constitution contravene the Union Constitution.The Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office responsible for Union affairs, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan, said when briefing journalists on preparations for the 50th Union anniversary celebrations that some provisions in Zanzibar’s constitution were out of sync with the Union supreme law. She said the Zanzibar constitution would have to be amended to harmonise it with the Union statutes once the new constitution was in place.
Ms Hassan said among the provisions in the Zanzibar constitution that contradicted the Union supreme law was the one empowering the Isles president to create administrative areas. She added that the Union Constitution clearly stated that this is the sole preserve of the Union President.She said another contentious provision is the one empowering the Zanzibar president to command an army and other security organs. But the Union Constitution states that the Union President is the Commander-in-Chief of defence and security forces.
However, Ms Hassan said all security agencies in Zanzibar were under a special department. She said land ownership was also a contentious issue, noting that there was a need to allow people from Tanzania Mainland to own land in Zanzibar. “There are many Zanzibaris who own land here in Tanzania Mainland, but people from the mainland cannot own land in Zanzibar, and this is according to the law,” Ms Hassan said.The minister added that poor knowledge on union matters, lack of funds and delay in implementing various programmes were among the main challenges the union was facing. She also listed a number of success stories, including implementation of various development projects such as the Tanzania Social Action Fund, improvement in the education and tourism sectors, economic development and growth of trade between the two sides.