Monday, 14 April 2014
WHERE WAS THE ARTICLE OF THE UNION BETWEEN TANGANYIKA AND ZANZIBAR ?
Ruling CCM was yesterday accused of violating the Constitution Review (Amendment) Act, 2013 by sticking to its guns on the two-government Union in the new Katiba writing process. A Member of the Constituent Assembly (MCA), Mr Ismail Jussa Ladhu, said this when tabling a report of minority side of the CA Committee Number Six on Chapters One and Six of the second Draft Constitution. The law puts in place an entire procedure of obtaining the second Draft Constitution, including the formation of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) tasked to collect views from the people to prepare the Draft, he said.
Institutions and District Constituent Assemblies were then created to discuss the first Draft Constitution ready for the CRC to come up with the second Draft.“We’re surprised to see the two-tier Union government structure proposal is debated in this House. Where does it come from? Isn’t it the views of the people that are supposed to be in the second Draft Constitution?” he asked.Mr Jussa said the two-tier Union government model proposal could only be deliberated on if a fresh commission is tasked to collect views of the people pertaining to it, which is not stipulated in the second Draft Constitution.But more important, he said, is that the self-proclaimed majority MCAs, who are actually the minority outside the House, accuse proponents of the three-tier Union model of inviting Sultan (Seyyid) Jamshid (bin Abdullah) once again.This is a serious allegation, he said. “I ask myself, on January 12, 2000, at Aman Stadium before former President Benjamin Mkapa; the former Zanzibar President, Dr Salmin Amour, pardoned Sultan Jamshid and welcomed him back if he was ready. Whose party was Dr Salmin,” he queried.He (Dr Salmin) promised to give him (Sultan) every support he needed to return to Zanzibar. The statement, which has not been refuted to date, shows that if there was anyone intending to welcome back the Sultanate, it was CCM, he said.
If whoever proposes the three-tier Union model invites the Sultanate; did the former Zanzibar President, Mr Abood Jumbe, who demanded the same in 1984, intended to invite Sultan Jamshid?
The government yesterday firmly attempted to clear the mystery surrounding the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar by vowing to submit the Articles of Union to the Constituent Assembly (CA) chair tomorrow.
“Articles of the Union are in place and in good condition just as they were in 1964,” the minister of State in the President’s Office (Coordination and Relations), Mr Stephen Wassira, told the Assembly.Mr Wassira said shortly before he tabled a report of the CA Committee Number Six on Chapters One and Six of the second Draft Constitution that he was speaking on behalf of the government.He assured Members of the Constituent Assembly (MCAs) that the Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, and the first President of Zanzibar, Abeid Aman Karume, did actually append their signatures to the Articles of Union in question.
A heated debate emerged in the House lately on whether the Articles of Union, which serve as the birth certificate of the merger between Tanganyika and Zanzibar ever existed.The UN reportedly refuted allegations that it had a copy of the same, saying the organisation would have issued a certificate to the United Republic of Tanzania to acknowledge receipt.The CA member Tundu Lissu earlier laboured to prove in the House that the Articles of Union were illegal if not inexistent, provoking his colleague, Mr Peter Serukamba, who queried “who are we here if the Union is non-existent?”Mr Lissu was clarifying on a report by the minority of the CA Committee Number Four on Chapters One and Six of the second draft constitution.He said a number of documents indicating the Articles of the Union were nonexistent were available, but most of the witnesses of the 1964 signing ceremony dubiously died.
The Constituent Assembly chairperson, Samuel Sitta was yesterday forced to adjourn the CA session due to a communication breakdown by the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation which is contracted to air live plenary session proceedings. The decision came while the minority representative for committee number 4 Tundu Lissu was giving clarification on issues they differed with the majority in a report presented earlier by Dr Khamis Kigwangala on behalf of committee chairman, Christopher ole Sendeka.“I have been informed about the communication breakdown with TBC One which has been given the work to broadcast live full CA proceedings thus there is no way we can proceed with the session,” he declared. He directed the Clerk of the CA to find out the time at which the communications were interrupted when Lissu was making his presentation so that he could be compensated on Monday when the session resumes.
Before adjourning the session Dr Kigwangalla sought the chair’s directives on a standing order he used to adjourn the session only because the proceedings were not being aired live.Responding, Sitta said that he used the standing order number 85 which states that with the permission from the chairman any standing order can be revoked for a certain purpose after any member presented an issue which in his or her view required the chair to do so. Standing order number 85 (4) (a) states the circumstances in which the standing order can be revoked by adjourning the session before time.The work which the CA members were doing is crucial and being followed by many Tanzanians through television broadcasting, the chairman pointed out.He said the government has set aside the budget for the CA and it has entered into contract with TBC to broadcast all plenary CA proceedings to allow wananachi to have informed and clear access to what is going on in the Constituent Assembly.He decided to adjourn the session in order to be fair to the speaker and others who would follow alter, he stated. “If it happened that a person is making presentation and the chair has been informed of the problem, failure to take action will be interpreted as deliberate and unfair… I don’t want this to happen and I will do the same in future regardless of who would be speaking and his or her social or political loyalties,” he further affirmed.
Earlier before adjourning the session CA senior member Freeman Mbowe who is also the leader of Opposition in the National Assembly requested for the chair’s directive after learning that the proceedings were not being aired live.Explaining controversies surrounding the Articles of the Union, Lissu said that there was evidence that there are no such articles.He said the majority of CA members have been claiming that going for a three government structure will be breaching the Articles of Union. They were supposed to ask themselves whether there is a Union Charter, is it legal and what is the legitimacy of the Union, the noted advocate underlined.Lissu said according to a United Nations official who wrote a letter to one researcher in 2009, the Union Charter was not presented to the UN.He said part of the letter read as follows: “There is no evidence that the Union Charter between Tanganyika and Zanzibar was registered in the UN Secretariat because if registered it would have been attached to the registration documents,” in admitting the new members known as Tanzania or the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, its earlier name.
“The Union Charter is neither in the UN nor in Tanzania,” he declared, noting further said that in 2005 the Zanzibar government was prosecuted in the High Court of Tanzania, where then Attorney General Iddi Pandu Hassan was ordered to bring to the court the Union Charter bearing the signatures of its founding fathers Julius Nyerere and Sheikh Abeid Aman Karume.The documents were not presented to the High Court but instead his response in a letter dated June 22, 2005 the AG said his office has not kept the records of the original copy of the Union Charter.The Zanzibar and Union governments have no Articles of Union because if they have them they could have been made them public or given to CA members who have been demanding them since they started working on chapters one and six. “If the articles are not available how can we say that if we will breach the Articles of Union if we go for a three-governments structure?” Lissu demanded.