Why Tanzania draft constitution retained three-tier union By THE CITIZEN | Wednesday, January 1  2014 at  17:01

Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete receives the second draft constitution from Constitutional Review Commission chairman Joseph Warioba in Dar es Salaam on December 30, 2013. PHOTO | EMMANUEL HERMAN  

The second draft constitution unveiled in Tanzania on Monday retained a proposal for a three-tier union.

The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party is fiercely opposed to the set-up, which was also recommended in the first draft published last year.

But Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) chairman Joseph Warioba, said that the decision to settle for a three-government union was reached after a “deep, thoughtful and critical analysis” of alternatives, adding that this was aimed at safeguarding the 1964 merger between Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

CCM favours the current two-government setup, but Mr Warioba, speaking before handing over the draft to President Jakaya Kikwete and Zanzibar President Ali Mohammed Shein, said a major rethink of union issues was required for the present system to work effectively.

He, however, added that introducing such changes was virtually impossible under the prevailing circumstances.

Mr Warioba noted, for instance, that for the structure to work, the Union government, which is seen to be leaning towards Tanzania mainland in implementation of the development agenda, should be given more powers, something Zanzibar would not be ready to accept.

“After listening to what people have said about the Union and weighing them, we have settled for three governments,” said the former prime minister, adding that this reflected the position of the majority of people who gave their opinion to CRC.

Mr Warioba said more than 61 per cent of Tanzanians from the Mainland favoured a three-tier union, 13 per cent wanted one government and 24 opted for the current system.

In Zanzibar, 34 per cent of people who gave their views said the current system should be retained, 0.1 per cent proposed a single government and 60 per cent preferred a treaty-based union.

“After getting these statistics we reviewed some studies on Union matters, including the 1999 Nyalali Commission report and the position of the G55 group of MPs who proposed a three-tier government system...we confirmed that reasons given for a review of the union system were the same as those raised by people who aired their views,” he said.

Mr Warioba outlined three reasons from each part of the Union that were given to justify a review of the system.

He said Mainlanders argued that Zanzibar was already a sovereign state since it has its own constitution, flag, national anthem and its own government.

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