Kudos to President Magufuli

Wednesday, 13 March 2019


THE CITIZEN ON SATURDAY of 9th March, 2019; carried the good news of the planned launching of what will be known as the “Mwalimu Nyerere Leadership Forum”. It was reported that the Forum is scheduled for launching on 30th March, 2019; and that this Forum will be aimed at “discussing the legacy of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, and how the current generation can use his intellectual wealth for community development, plus the lessons of his life and agenda, in relation to current realities”.  This is certainly very good news for all those who sincerely admire Mwalimu Nyerere’s vast contributions to the making of our nation; in the light of the solid foundations of  ‘good responsible leadership’ which he laid down, and which continue to  form the ‘cornerstone’ of his legacy.   I am one of those devout students and admirers of Mwalimu Nyerere. I therefore undertake to participate fully in supporting the work of this new Forum.  And, in order to ‘hit the ground running’; today’s article will be a presentation of some of the most memorable components of Mwalimu Nyerere’s legacy.  
Memories of Mwalimu Nyerere.
            When our beloved father of the nation, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, departed from this world on 14th October, 1999; he was mourned all round the world, by the most humble, as well as the most exalted. This was a manifest testimony of his greatness as a selfless leader, who always gave top priority to the concerns, and the wellbeing, of the people.  But although he is gone, his ideals must be kept alive so that they may continue to inspire our nation, in our continued search for stability and peace, and for justice and equality; which are the critical ideals for which he lived and died. The famous English dramatist William Shakespeare, said the following in his Play titled Julius Caesar: The evil that men do lives after them, but the good is often interred with their bones”                                                   
          We absolutely must not allow the “good” that Mwalimu Nyerere did for our country and nation, “to be interred with his bones”. Indeed, we have a binding obligation to ensure, that Mwalimu Nyerere’s legacy continues to exist within us, in order to guide the post-Nyerere generations of Tanzanians.                       It may also be well worthwhile  recalling the words of wisdom,  appearing in a statement attributed to one Thomas Carlyle (1795 – 1881), the Scottish historian and essayist;  who said the following in his book titled “Heroes and Hero-worship”: “No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men”. Undoubtedly, Mwalimu Nyerere was one such ‘great men’, and the little records like this presentation, can be taken to form part of his biography.   
In similar vein, on the local front; I also chanced to gain access to a book titled “Remembering Nyerere in Tanzania: History, memory, legacy”. (Mkuki and Nyota Publishers, Dar es Salaam, 2015).                          
The said book is a collection of contributions from a variety of knowledgeable persons. According to its editor, “this book is about how Nyerere is remembered by Tanzanians from all levels of society, in what ways, on what occasions, and for what purpose”.         
 Furthermore, we must take note of the constant and persistent reminder by the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC, in their daily programme appropriately titled “Wosia wa Baba”: through that attractive singing of the words:  Kama siyo juhudi zako Nyerere, na Uhuru tungepata wapi?  Na amani tungepata wapi?  And so on.                                                                                                                                
 The planned launching of the proposed Mwalimu Nyerere Leadership Forum will, undoubtedly, facilitate the enhancement of these commendable efforts to enable Mwalimu Nyerere’s legacy “to be remembered by Tanzanians from all levels of society”.  
Mwalimu Nyerere’ legacy.
On good governance, and democracy.       
           Mwalimu Nyerere’s firm stand on the necessity for good governance, is clearly manifested in the directives and guidelines which he issued to the ‘One Party’ Constitutional Review Commission which he had appointed in 1963, for the purpose of making recommendations for the introduction of a new democratic One-Party Constitution.   A reading of these directives and guidelines reveals his major concerns in relation these issues. They represent the cherished principles which he wanted to be enshrined in the One-Party Constitution. These included:                                                                                 (a) The principles of democracy, which he listed as follows:-                                                             Maximum political freedom for all citizens. (Freedom of expression, of movement, of religious belief, and of association with others, within the context of the law; freedom for the people to choose their representatives to all legislative bodies).  And maximum participation by the people in their own Government, and ultimate control by them.                                                                       
          (b) The ‘ethics and integrity’ principles, namely the fundamental equality of all human beings, and the right of every individual to dignity and respect.  To his immense credit, Mwalimu Nyerere actually managed to faithfully and diligently, “walk his talk” in all these matters.  For example, his commitment to the principle of giving the people “freedom to choose their representatives to all legislative bodies”, is manifestly reflected in his subsequent (unsuccessful) campaign against the constitutional ban on the participation of private candidates in our elections.               
 In his 1995 little book titled “Our leadership and the destiny of Tanzania”, Mwalimu Nyerere wrote the following:  “I am not denying that the right of every citizen to stand in an election was effectively denied during the One Party system. But I argued then, and I continue to do so now, that with two candidates being submitted to the free choice of the voters,  that was the most appropriate and democratic system under the circumstances of that time. But after moving to the multi-party system, a move which I fully supported, we were effectively saying that the circumstances have changed. Therefore this restriction on the exercise of one of the basic peoples’ rights (the right to stand for election), could be lifted without endangering the unity and peace of our country”.  Mwalimu Nyerere’s strong belief in democracy is also demonstrated by his inclusion in the policy document which he personally authored that is, the 1967 ‘Arusha Declaration on Socialism and Self Reliance”; wherein he wrote as follows: “The only guarantee for genuine socialist transformation, is for the State to take effective control. Or ownership, of the major means of production. But a country does not become socialist simply because its major means of production are controlled by the State. The State itself must be governed by a democratically elected Government”.
Mwalimu Nyerere’s legacy on the issue of ethics.        
  It has been said, in the books of authority on the subject of ethics that “ethics is the heart of leadership”.  Mwalimu Nyerere’s commitment on this issue is evidenced in  his statement made in the Tanganyika Legislative Council, way back in 1958; when Mwalimu Nyerere said the following: “The only safeguard for the people’s rights, such  as the people’s freedom, and all those other things which they value and cherish, can only be  the ethic of the nation’, or national ethic.  If the people of any given nation do not have that kind of national ethic, it does not really matter what kind of Constitution they have; for they  can still become victims of tyranny imposed upon them by a dictatorial leader. Therefore, what we must continue to do all the time, is to endeavor to build a “national ethic”. This is what will, possibly even more than the Constitution, make even the  President of the country,  whoever he may be, to always pause and restrain himself from taking action,  in circumstances where he can caution himself by saying that “yes, under the Constitution, I have the power and authority to do this. But the national ethic prevents me from doing it”.                                          
To the best of my knowledge, Mwalimu Nyerere sincerely endeavored to adhere to this ‘ethics doctrine’ throughout his leadership period, and even beyond, into his retirement period. This is his legacy which needs to be emulated.
 Mwalimu Nyerere legacy on the Constitution.
            It has been said that “the Constitution is both a political and a legal document”.  Thus, because it is a   political document, Mwalimu Nyerere the ‘principled’ political leader that he was, always maintained the principle that the country’s Constitution must be fully respected and strictly adhered to.   That is why he  became  exceedingly  annoyed when, after his voluntary retirement, his successor into  office President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, succumbed to the evil temptation of attempting to breach the Constitution, by his  apparent desire to  continue in office beyond the two-term limit imposed by the Constitution.  Mwalimu Nyerere’s response to that attempt is recorded in his book already referred to above, in which he wrote the following: - “It is of vital importance for the peace of this county, and the possibilities of harmonious development, that all the provisions of the Union Constitution, as it stands at any given time, should be respected and honored by all authorities in both parts of the Union. It is therefore the prime responsibility of the President of the United Republic, and of the Union Government under his leadership, to ensure that the Constitution is honored in all its respects. The President and his Government must endeavor to prevent any violation of the Constitution”.
Mwalimu Nyerere’s legacy on combating corruption.
            Mwalimu Nyerere took his first public steps on ‘the combat road’ in the war against corruption, on17th may, 1960; during his speech in the Legislative Council, of which he was a member and leader of the Tanganyika Elected Members Organization (TEMO). That is when he made the significant historical statement, declaring corruption as “an enemy of the people”. He said the following: “Mr. Speaker, let me also take this opportunity to add ‘corruption’ to the list of the three enemies which consistently afflict our otherwise peaceful society, namely, poverty, ignorance, and disease. I believe it is now necessary to add a fourth enemy to that list, and that enemy is corruption. This is indeed necessary because, even though we can endeavor to marshal efforts and resources to deal with the issues of poverty, ignorance and disease; it must be realized that all such efforts can effectively be reduced to naught, simply through the corrupt actions perpetrated by the relevant leaders. For that reason, Mr. Speaker, the issue of corruption must be confronted with all the seriousness it deserves;   for corruption is a ruthless enemy that can cause even greater harm during peace time, than the harm which results from armed conflict during war time.
            Therefore, Sir, in my considered opinion, the crime of corruption deserves to be placed in the same category as that of treason. This is because corruption among Government leaders effectively destroys the people’s confidence in their Government, to the extent that often promotes equally harmful political consequential outcomes. To the best of my knowledge, at all times during his leadership period, Mwalimu Nyerere always took appropriate measures to implement his earnest resolve to combat corruption.  And this is a legacy which must be emulated. 
piomsekwa@gmail.com   /   0754767576.
Source: Daily News today and for the courtesy of Cde Pius Msekwa himself.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Did Boeing See the Boeing 737 Max Tragedy Coming and Ignore It?

Recent plane crashes involving the Boeing 737 Max left the world grieving and questioning the airworthiness of this model. Within six year, two brand new aircraft killed over 300 hundred passengers. The first occurred in Indonesia and the second one in Ethiopia just two days ago. Looking at the clip hereunder, you can see how this tragedy was in the making ten years down the line even before the aircraft took to the skies. Here we are talking of Boeing 737 Max. The much touted Dream Liner 787 has its own dark clouds too. Shall Boeing keep on this big lie, the European Airbus will soon fill in the gap and take the control of Airplane production. Though I cannot judge now, shall Boeing go on being unethical, it should forget its dominance it enjoyed for many decades. Please watch this  clip and come with your own verdict as a potential passenger.


                                       By PIUS MSEKWA
                       Former Speaker of the Parliament of Tanzania.

            This presentation is an abridged version of a series of articles which I wrote for my
Weekly ‘Current Affairs’ column in the DAILY NEWS, starting from Thursday 1st June, 2017. At that particular point in time, serious public discussions were taking place regarding the matter, and process, of enacting a new Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania; which had been motivated by the Constitution making process which had been put in place by President Jakaya Kikwete of the fourth phase Government. These discussions were being actively promoted mainly by Jukwaa la Katiba.                                                                                                        Thus, at the time when they were published, the said articles were intended to be my personal contribution, and participation, in those discussions.  But also for the wider purpose of enhancing the public’s general knowledge about matters relating to the concept of ‘Constitutionalism’, and its application in Tanzania.         
       Most of this material was lifted from my book titled: Reflections on the First Decade of Multi-party Politics in Tanzania (Nyambari Nyangwine Publishers, Dar es Salaam, 2014).                                                                                                                                                                   But apart from the desire to participate in the ongoing discussions which were taking place at the time, the writing of these articles was also influenced by the felt need to enhance the general public understanding of matters relating to Constitutionalism.  It is in pursuit of that objective that I decided to present, through my weekly column, a series of Constitution-related articles, which were intended to serve as a small contribution to the enhancement of the knowledge and general understanding of these matters among our readers.  I was however keenly aware, that there were probably not be very many of our readers who have sufficient interest in this specialized subject. This is so because, for most of our ordinary citizens, Constitutional matters are not the kind of “bread and butter” issues over which they are expected to hold strong views one way or the other.                 
              As will be shown later under the ‘Peoples’ participation’ section,  the ordinary person’s everyday concern is mainly in respect of  issues related to his fight against the three declared enemies of poverty, ignorance and disease;  namely matters relating to his health care, the provision of clean water for his  domestic use, and education. But, in fact, that is what should encourage us to provide such knowledge to them, as part of the dedicated battle against ignorance. And that is, precisely, what I attempted to do.
Current new developments
            By courtesy of the author, I recently gained access to a series of lectures complied by Idd R. Mandi, a seasoned lecturer at the Public Law Department of the University of Da res Salaam School of Law. His focus in these lectures is on the subject of “Constitutional Change and Constitution Making”; which has very close relationship with my own subject of “Constitutionalism and Political Change in Tanzania”. I therefore felt that I could make a small contribution to supplement his sterling efforts in this area of study. And that was the principal purpose of compiling this presentation.
The subject matter of this presentation.
            The heading of this presentation is “Constitutionalism and Political Change in Tanzania”. This formulation is quite appropriate, because ‘Constitutionalism’ and ‘political change’ are very closely related.
            This is so because ‘Constitutions’ are primarily concerned with the control of political power and authority. The term ‘Constitutionalism’ actually implies “good governance”, as opposed to ‘authoritarianism’. Indeed, it is for the specific purpose of achieving ‘good governance’ that Constitutions normally contain devices, or checks and balances, which are designed to prevent authoritarianism or, in other words, to prevent the abuse and/or misuse of power.   
Political change.
            In this context, “Political change” generally means a shift of political power.  And in the majority of cases, a new Constitution is normally enacted following the occurrence of a major political change, particularly when there is a change of sovereignty. For example, in the particular case of Tanzania, there have been four separate events of major political changes which implied a change of sovereignty, and which, as a consequence thereof, necessitated the enactment of an entirely new Constitution. These events were: (i) Tanganyika’s independence in December 1961; (ii) Zanzibar’s Independence in December 1963; (iii) The Zanzibar Revolution of January 1964; and (iv) The Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in April 1964.
             Each of these events produced a major political change.  In the case of the independence of Tanganyika, the event implied a transfer of sovereignty from the colonial government, to an independent government of Tanganyika; and, in the case of the Zanzibar Revolution, a transfer of sovereignty from a monarchy (the Sultan of Zanzibar), to a Peoples’ Republic. The Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged the sovereignty of two independent states, and created one sovereign state, the United Republic of Tanzania.  As can be seen, each of these events involved a change of sovereignty, thus necessitating the enactment of a new Constitution.
The contents of Constitutions.
            Because Constitutions are primarily concerned with matters relating to political power and authority, their contents normally prescribe the location, conferment, distribution, and the exercise and limitations, of such power and authority among the stipulated organs of the State. Constitutions also normally include explicit guarantees of the rights and freedoms of the individuals within the State. They include the principles by which the State will be guided (or to which it ought to aspire), plus statements of the citizen’s duties and responsibilities.
            There is no pre-ordained stereotype of an ideal Constitution. The form and contents of a country’s Constitution usually depend on the following factors: 
 (a) the political forces which were at work when the relevant Constitution was established, 
(b) the commonsense consideration of practical convenience at the material time, and               
 (c) the precedents which were available for the guidance of the constitution makers concerned.        As will be explained later in these articles, these are the principal factors which have influenced the process of constitution-making even here in Tanzania after the country’s independence. 
The sanctity of Constitutions.
            The Constitution of a country, (any country for that matter), enjoys a special position of authority within that country’s legal system. In view of that fact, it may be of considerable help to our readers, for me to start this presentation with a brief explanation of this concept, which is commonly known as “the sanctity of the Constitution”; and what it actually means.                    The term “sanctity of the Constitution” arises from the fact that a country’s Constitution is the fundamental law of the land. The Constitution is what creates the principal organs of the country’s Governance system.  It establishes the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Institutions of the country concerned; and describes the functions of each of those Institutions; and also provides for the distribution of powers among them. In other words, the Constitution is the legal foundation of the legitimacy of the country’s political power and authority.
The concept of ‘Constitution-making’
Constitutions are normally first put in place, and are thereafter amended from time to time, in order to accommodate the socio-political changes which do inevitably occur in the relevant communities in the course of time.                                                            
            The term ‘Constitution-making’ implies the writing of an entirely new Constitution. But the term ‘Constitution amendment’ relates to the introduction of changes in the existing Constitution.
            For example, very soon after the re-introduction of multi-party politics in Tanzania, vocal demands for the enactment of “a new multi-party Constitution” were frequently raised by the Opposition political parties. These demands did not succeed at that time, simply because the ruling party was of the settled view, that unless there is a fundamental political change, such as a change of sovereignty, or a merger of sovereignty; there is no need of undertaking the hugely expensive process of enacting an entirely new Constitution. It was felt that such ‘consequential’ events can be adequately accommodated through Amendments to the existing Constitution.                 These are the precedents which have been provided by countries like the United States of America and India, which have continued to operate on the basis of their original Constitutions as they they were first enacted; but have only introduced amendments to them from time to time, as the need arose for doing so.                                                                        
    On the other hand however, new Constitutions have been enacted in countries like South Africa, Uganda, Kenya and a few others, mainly for the reason that the requirements for a new Constitution were fully satisfied. We will talk about these requirements later.
            Nevertheless, Opposition demands for a new Constitution for the United Republic of Tanzania were eventually granted in 2011, when President Kikwete, in his new year speech welcoming the fiftieth anniversary of Tanganyika’ independence, agreed to put in place a process for the enactment of a new Constitution of the United Republic.  At the time of writing, this process has not been completed.
            In view of these Opposition demands and their earlier rejection, we will come back later, to explain what we consider to be the requirements for the making of a new Constitution, that is to say, requirements which cannot be fully satisfied by just introducing amendments to the existing Constitution.
            In the meantime, we will examine the special procedures which are required for the making of a new Constitution.
            The established procedure for the process of making a new Constitution, is that it has to be enacted by a special body, designated as a “Constituent Assembly”. This procedure is totally different from that which is prescribed for enacting the ordinary laws of the land; including that of making amendments to the existing Constitution.
            A ‘Constituent Assembly’ is a unique Constitution making organ, which serves two specific purposes. First, it signifies the ‘special legal sanctity’ of the Constitution, by giving it this special procedure, which is totally different from that which applies in   enacting the ordinary laws of the land, which are enacted by the Parliament of the country. But secondly, the ‘Constituent Assembly’ route removes the necessity of having to obtain the assent of the President, which is a necessity in the case of all the ordinary laws which are enacted by Parliament.  Thus, unlike such other laws, a new Constitution takes effect immediately after its enactment by the Constituent Assembly, without having to be assented to by the President.
            A ‘Constituent Assembly’ may be created either through a process of elections, whereby its members are elected directly by the people, and given the sole mandate of enacting a new Constitution. This is what was done in Uganda in 1995 for the enactment of their new Constitution, following the ouster of dictator President Iddi Amin Dada; or it may be created by the President appointing its members, as has been the practice in Tanzania.  However, in the case of the Tanganyika Republican Constitution, an Act of the Tanganyika Parliament was enacted, which converted the existing National Assembly into a Constituent Assembly.                       But thereafter, the normal practice has been for the President to appoint the members of the relevant Constituent Assembly, by notice published in the official government gazette.  This is what was done in respect of the new Constitution of 1977, whose members were appointed by President Nyerere through Government Notice (GN) no. 39 published on 25 March, 1977. 
The normal requirements for enacting a new Constitution
            It has been my contention, that there are certain specific political events of a fundamental nature which, when they occur, they unavoidably necessitate the making of a new Constitution. In my own experience, such events have been the following: -                                     (i) Where there is a change of sovereignty. (ii) Where there is a merger of sovereignty. 
(iii) Where the previous Constitution has been abrogated, usually as a result of a military coup. (iv) Where there is need to abandon a totally unacceptable Constitution, such as the apartheid Constitution of erstwhile South Africa.                   
            It is primarily on the basis of this understanding, that the ruling party (CCM) has consistently rejected the demands by the Opposition parties, for the enactment of a new Constitution, following the re-introduction of the multi-party system. Such refusal being based on its firm belief, that such ‘consequential’ political change could be adequately accommodated by making the necessary amendments in the existing Constitution, without undertaking the hugely expensive process of enacting an entirely new Constitution.                                                       That is what actually explains the introduction of the 1984 major amendments to the Constitution (designated as the ‘Fifth Constitutional Amendment)’, rather than going through the process of  enacting a new Constitution; following the comprehensive constitutional decisions made by the CCM National Executive Committee, and published in its policy document titled MWONGOZO WA CCM WA MWAKA 1981.
That is the reason also why, following the re-introduction of multi-party politics in 1992, rather than going through the process of enacting a new Constitution, only major amendments, designated as the ‘Eighth Constitutional Amendment’, were made consequent upon the re-introduction of the multi-party political system.                 
              In the words of the relevant CCM resolution, these changes were made “in the circumstances of the global political environment, which made it obvious that a change to multi-party politics was inevitable”. Thus, they were treated as ‘consequential’ changes.
Constitution making in Tanzania: the actual practice.
            The practice of Constitution making in Tanzania has, generally, followed this pattern, namely that a new Constitution has been enacted only when there was some such fundamental political change, specifically involving a change of sovereignty.           
  If this could be rightly called a ‘principle’, then this principle was first applied during the making of the Republican Constitution of Tanganyika, in 1962.                     
              This was amplified by Prime Minister Rashidi Kawawa’s statement, in his speech introducing the motion for its adoption by the Constituent Assembly. He said the following:  “Mr. Speaker, This Constitution has been prepared in accordance with the proposals contained in Government Paper no. 1 of 1962.  However, although the Government Paper referred to the making of amendments to the existing Constitution, we have thought it best to substitute an entirely new and self-contained document, in order to mark such a fundamental change”. (Emphasis added).      
            The ‘fundamental change’ referred to by the Prime Minister, was the change of sovereignty from what was known as ‘Dominion’ status; whereby the people of Tanganyika owed their constitutional allegiance to the British Queen, who remained the Head of State of Tanganyika; to a new Republican status; whereby they now owed such allegiance to the President of Tanganyika, elected by the people of Tanganyika themselves as their Head of State and Government.                                   
               This fundamental change of sovereignty is what necessitated the making of a new Constitution, the Republican Constitution of Tanganyika, of 1962.
 Then quickly followed a merger of sovereignty.
            The next new Constitution to be enacted was the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977. This resulted from another fundamental change, involving a merger of sovereignty when, in April 1964,  the Republic of Tanganyika merged with the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar, to create a new sovereign state, the United Republic of Tanzania.
            This inevitably necessitated the enactment of a new Constitution, to cater for the new sovereign state.
Examples of other fundamental changes.
            Other fundamental changes requiring the enactment of a new Constitution, include the following:-
             (i)  Where a previous Constitution has been abrogated.
There are many examples in the countries of Africa, where, at different time periods, military coups have overthrown the democratically elected Governments, and abrogated the existing Constitutions as a consequence thereof.  For example, when military General Iddi Amin ascended to power in Uganda as a result of a successful coup against President Milton Obote in January 1971, he rapidly abrogated the Uganda Constitution, and started ruling by Decree.  Thus, when he was eventually removed from power several years later, it became necessary to enact a new Constitution, to replace that which had been abrogated
   (ii) Where there is a need to abandon a totally unacceptable Constitution.
            When the obnoxious apartheid regime in South Africa was eventually removed from power by the democratic forces united behind Nelson Mandela, it became necessary to enact a new Constitution, which would govern the new democratic State of South Africa.
But these are not binding rules.
            However, I am fully aware that the new Constitutions of Kenya, Malawi, and other countries, which have actually opted to enact ‘new’ Constitutions even when there were no such fundamental changes of the kind listed above. In my opinion, these examples only help to provide the proverbial ‘exception to this rule’.                                 
  In these cases, the relevant national authorities must have felt that there were good enough reasons for enacting ‘new’ Constitutions, instead of just introducing amendments to their existing Constitutions, notwithstanding the fact that no fundamental political change of the kind listed above, had taken place.                                                         
The Zanzibar Constitution of 1984 is another case in point.                                                  
The Zanzibar Constitution of 1979 was indeed a new Constitution, enacted by a Constituent Assembly which had been appointed specifically for that purpose. And this Constitution properly reflected a ‘fundamental political change’, from the Revolutionary regime where all the executive, Legislative and Judicial functions had been vested in the Revolutionary Council; to a new democratic dispensation, in which there was a clear separation of these powers and functions.
            Similarly, the constitution making process that is pending completion, namely that of making a new Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania; also falls squarely into this category, namely of the relevant Authorities being satisfied that there are good enough reasons for enacting a new Constitution, rather than just making amendments to the existing Constitution.                                                              
 But in this case, this is further justified by the fact that there have been consistent demands by the Opposition parties, and other stake holders, for the enactment of a new Union Constitution. President Jakaya Kikwete must have rightly felt that the time has come for the Government to respond positively to these demands.
In addition, there is another relevant consideration, which is that the word “fundamental” is subject to a variety of interpretations. Its dictionary definition is given as “serious and very important, affecting the most central and important parts of something”.  Hence, since the ‘something’ that we are talking about in this context, is the country’s political system; the change from a single party, to a multi-party political system may rightly be viewed as a ‘fundamental change’, which requires the enactment of a new Constitution.                                             I was personally of that view when such a change occurred in Tanzania in 1992, when I willingly joined the chorus advocating for that to be done. I wrote the following words in my book titled: Essays on the Transition to Multi-partysm in Tanzania.    (Dar es Salaam University Press, 1995):  
            “With this major change to multi-party politics in Tanzania, I personally believe that the country now needs a new Constitution, which will accommodate the vastly changed political landscape of our country”.  Furthermore, this was also the recommendation of the Nyalali Commission, of which I was a member.
But, understandably, the relevant Authorities felt otherwise; and the said recommendation was rejected.  “Roma locuta, causa finita”.
Other factors which influence Constitution making processes.
            We mentioned earlier in this presentation, that there are four other factors which need to be considered in analyzing the making of any particular Constitution, which we listed as follows:-
             (i)  The political forces which were at work when the relevant Constitution was made.              (ii) The commonsense considerations, and practical convenience underlying its adoption;            
             (iii) the precedents which were relied upon.
            We will now consider the application of these factors in our Constitution making processes, starting with the Tanganyika Republican Constitution, the first of the ‘home made’ Constitutions. The word “homemade” is used in this context to distinguish them from the Tanganyika independence Constitution, which was literally “made in London”, having been enacted by the British Parliament and only imported into the country, to be converted into domestic law.
            In relation to the Tanganyika Republican Constitution of 1962, we have already seen that the major influence was the change of sovereignty. The ‘Dominion’ status which had been created by the independence Constitution was wholly incomprehensible to the majority of the people of Tanganyika; who could not understand the rationale of the Queen of England being the Head of State of independent Tanganyika. Thus, the ‘commonsense consideration of practical convenience’ influenced the enactment of a new Constitution which the people of Tanganyika could understand more easily. There was also the question of the ‘precedents’ which were relied upon. The precedent which was followed in the case of the Tanganyika Republican Constitution, was the Ghana Constitution of 1960. Ghana gained its independence from Britain in 1957, under the “Dominion’ type of Constitution, with the British Queen being also the Head of State of Ghana. But in 1960, Ghana enacted a new Republican Constitution. The Constitution of the Republic of Tanganyika was crafted largely along the lines of Ghana’s Republican Constitution.
The Constitution of the united Republic of Tanzania, 1977.
            The making of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977, was largely influenced by the ‘commonsense considerations and practical convenience’ offered by the circumstances prevailing at that material time as a direct product of the merger between TANU and ASP.                                                                                    
              It will be remembered that the ‘Articles of Union’ had made provision for a Constituent Assembly to be convened within one year after the establishment of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar; and also that before the expiry of that period, the Union Parliament had passed legislation to remove that requirement, simply because President Nyerere and President Karume had agreed that instead f rushing into enacting a permanent Constitution, it was more desirable and prudent, to allow sufficient time for this Union to operate and become properly settled, in order to enable the people, based on the experience gained from observing its operations, to determine the kind of permanent Constitution that is most suitable.                                                                      
             But there is the untold part of that story, which is that President Nyerere had sincerely hoped that given sufficient time, it would be possible to have a Constitution which made provision for a one-government structure of the Union, instead of the two-government structure. However, it had already taken as many as twelve years, before the envisaged Constituent Assembly could be appointed.  Thus, the merger between TANU and ASP (which had taken place earlier that year), provided a very convenient opportunity for that provision of the Articles of Union to be implemented.                                                                                                                 And so it came to pass. A constituent Assembly was duly constituted, which enacted the Union’s permanent Constitution of 1977.
“Peoples’ participation” in Constitution making processes.
            The methodology which has consistently been used in Tanzania, for the purpose of involving the people and enabling them to actively participate in our Constitution making processes, has invariably been that of appointing Presidential ‘Constitutional Review Commissions’
            Constitutional review Commissions have routinely been appointed by all the past Union Presidents whenever the need arose, either for enacting a new Constitution, (as was done by President Nyerere in 1962); or, whenever the need arose for introducing major amendments to the country’s Constitution (as was done by President Ali Hassan Mwinyi in 1991, and by President Benjamin Mkapa in 1998).  These Commissions are appointed for the purpose of collecting and coordinating  the views of the people, regarding what should be included in the Constitution;  and subsequently, to make proposals for consideration by the Constituent Assembly.  But again, the 1962 exercise went through a different process. Instead of appointing a Constitutional Review Commission, the government prepared and published what is known as a “White Paper’, which was titled “Proposals of the Tanganyika Government for a Republic”. The said proposals were distributed widely throughout the country, and members of the public were invited to submit their views on the proposals contained therein, to the Office of the Prime Minister.
            But for the next following exercise, which was the enactment of the 1965  One-Party Constitution;  President Nyerere went back to the earlier practice, and  appointed a Constitutional Review  Commission  chaired  by Rashid Kawawa, which was given the usual task of collecting  the views of  the people  regarding the type of one-party state Constitution was acceptable to them.                               
   But President Nyerere went further. Because he was determined to ensure that the envisaged One-Party Constitution must create a proper democratic State. He therefore issued some “Guiding principles” to that Commission, which, he described as “the principles of democracy” and directed that they must be enshrined in the proposed Constitution. He listed them as follows: - (a) There shall be maximum political freedom for all citizens within the context of a single national movement.  (b) There shall be maximum possible participation by the people in their own Government, and ultimate control by them. (c) There shall be complete freedom for the people to choose their representatives on all legislative bodies.
            In addition, he also issued other ‘guiding principles’ relating to the maintenance of ethics and integrity; the fundamental equality of all human beings and the right of every individual to respect and dignity; the right to freedom of expression, of movement, of religious belief, and of association with others within the context of the law; subject in all cases to the maintenance of equal freedom for all other citizens; plus the principles of ‘good governance’ and the Rule of law.
            President Nyerere’s concern and desire for a One-Party Constitution which would strictly observe his ‘guiding principles’; he went the extra mile and directed the inclusion into that Constitution, of the ‘Permanent Commission of Enquiry”; out of his sincere conviction that it was necessary to institute a constitutional check on Government officials in the exercise of their powers and responsibilities in the One-Part State, in order to prevent the misuse of such powers. The relevant provision read as follows:-
There shall be a Permanent Commission of Enquiry, which shall have jurisdiction to enquire into the conduct of any person in the exercise of his authority, or abuse thereof”. The Commission was require reporting its findings to the President, who would then take action on any reported cases of abuse of office. Many such cases were in fact discovered and reported. And appropriate action taken.                         There was, for example, the case of a student who had secured high marks in her Std Seven examinations. She was unfairly denied admission to Secondary School, on the mere suspicion the she might have been shown the examination questions.             
               She registered her complaint with the Commission which, on investigation, found that the girl was a bight student who had consistently scored high marks during all the years of her Primary school education; and that she had been unfairly treated in being denied admission to Secondary School. This was reported  to the President (President Mwinyi at that  material time) who,  on being satisfied after examining the facts in that report, ordered that this student be admitted to a Government Secondary of her own choice, as compensation for her undeserved ill treatment.
            The next in line, was the permanent Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania 1977; for which President Nyerere once again appointed a Constitutional Review Commission chaired by Sheikh Thabit Kombo, Secretary-General of the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) of Zanzibar. That Commission was, like all its predecessors, also tasked to collect and coordinate the views of the people from both sides of the United Republic, regarding what should be the contents of this permanent Constitution.
            However, of much greater importance this time, was the need to incorporate the ‘Articles of Union’ in the permanent Constitution. This is because the Articles of Union had been designed to operate only during “the interim period”, which was defined as “the period from the commencement of the Union until the Constituent Assembly provided for in article (vi) shall have met and adopted a Constitution for the United republic”, after which the said Articles of Union would cease to have legal effect.  Thus, this Constitutional Review Commission was required to transfer the spirit of the provisions of the Acts of Union, into the new Constitution, and in particular, the provisions of articles (iii) and (iv) of those Articles, which made distinct provision for a separate Executive and Legislature for Zanzibar (i.e. the two-government structure of the Union); the representation of Zanzibar in the Parliament of the United Republic. And such other matters as may be expedient or desirable to give effect to the United Republic”.
            This requirement was duly implemented by the Sheikh Thabit kombo Constitutional Review Commission, and the relevant provisions were subsequently incorporated in the 1977 Constitution. 
            It has been said that the Constitution “is a living document”. No Constitution can remain permanently static. A viable and sustainable Constitution must be sufficiently flexible, in order to be able to accommodate any necessary amendments caused by, or resulting from, the socio-political changes that must inevitably occur from time to time. 
            ‘Constitutional Amendments’ are normally made by the regular Parliament of a country; and as such, there is really no obligation for the intended Constitutional Amendment to go through similar procedures as are applicable to the making of a new Constitution. 
  However, for the purpose of involving the people in these processes, the Presidents of Tanzania have routinely adopted the traditional method of appointing Presidential Constitution Review Commissions, even for the major Constitutional Amendments of 1984, 1992, and 1998; which were thus preceded by such Commissions, appointed by the relevant President for that purpose; as this had become the established mode of enabling all the people to participate in the relevant Constitutional  Review exercise.                                        
Because of their significant importance, plus their major impact on Tanzania’s governance system, the relevant Constitutional Amendments are discussed below.
The 1984 Constitutional amendments.
            Under the then constitutionally recognized concept of Party Supremacy, the 1984 amendments were initiated by the ruling party CCM, following the adoption of the CCM Guidelines in 1981. Whereupon a CCM Constitutional Review  Commission was subsequently appointed by the National Executive Committee, and given  the task of preparing appropriate proposals,  which were thereafter widely circulated throughout the country, for the people to consider and give their opinions and comments. The discussions were coordinated at every level of the Party structure, namely the Branch, District, and Regional levels, and finally at the National Executive Committee level, which provided the final endorsement before the proposals were submitted to the government for the normal legislative process to take place.
The 1992 Constitutional amendments.
            Similarly, the 1992 major Constitutional amendments which introduced the multi-party provisions into the Constitution were preceded by the appointment, by President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, of a Constitutional Review Commission chaired by Chief Justice Francis Nyalali. (The Nyalali Commission), which was mandated to collect and coordinate the views of the people on whether or not Tanzania should abandon the one-party system of government and introduce the multi-party system.
The 1998 amendments.
            Following this established practice, the 1998 amendments were also preceded by the appointment by President Benjamin Mkapa, of a Constitutional Commission chaired by Judge Robert Kisanga  (the Kisanga Commission), for the same purpose of involving the people in the Constitution-making process, by giving them the opportunity to express their views and opinions regarding the contents of the proposed amendments
 And similarly for the anticipated new Constitution, President Kikwete also appointed a Constitutional Commission chaired by retired Judge Joseph Warioba (the Warioba Commission) in compliance with this established practice.
A curious paradox.
            Unwittingly, ‘peoples’ participation’ in Constitution making                                           could be mere window dressing.The dictionary definition of the words “window dressing” as used in this context, is given as follows: “the fact of doing or saying something in a way that creates a good impression, but does not show the real facts”.  It is therefore a curious paradox, that the good impression created by the steps taken to promote people’s participation  in the making of Constitutions through the deployment of Presidential Commissions as described above, eventually ends up being a mere window dressing exercise;  in the sense that the desired objective is not, in  reality, actually achieved.                            
             In Constitution making processes, the concept of ‘people’s participation’ is normally applied at two distinct levels. The first level is implemented when the Constitutional Review Commission visits the people to collect their views.  The second level is implemented where and when a referendum is held, which is aimed at giving the people the opportunity to exercise their right of giving final approval to the proposed Constitution.  
            But having been a participant myself in some of Tanzania’s Constitutional Review exercises, my personal observation has been that, in communities such as ours, where the level of understanding of matters of such academic sophistication as those relating to Constitution making is relatively low; this state of affairs tends to create a general ‘lack of interest’ in these matters among the public.                           ‘Constitutionalism’ is one of the disciplines which are taught only at University level, not at the primary or secondary levels of education. Therefore, access to such knowledge is necessarily confined to a lucky few, who like to call themselves the “learned brothers and sisters” (wasomi).  
            Credible evidence of such lack of interest is provided by the minimal public attendance at meetings convened by the said Presidential Commissions for that purpose. And this is fully supported by the statics published by the Commissions themselves.  For example, the Warioba Commission’s Report provides credible evidence of the disappointingly low levels of public participation, even in their Constitution making exercise, for it shows that the total number of opinions received by that Commission from members of the public in Tanzania Mainland was a paltry 684,303 and only 49,671 in Zanzibar.  In my opinion, this low public participation can only be attributed to the fact that for the vast majority of our people, the matter of ‘Constitution making’ is really not a normal ‘bread and butter’ kind of issue, which would ordinarily promote their excitement, or to make them hold strong views one way or the other; plus the the level of interest that would motivate them to get fully involved in making decisions about it.                            It is of course true,  that the ordinary citizen is also concerned with the issue of ‘good governance’; but he largely expects such good governance to be provided by the people in the Government which he participated in electing to office, and with whom he in almost daily contact. But certainly not by a mundane document called the Constitution, which he most probably has never even seen!                                                                                                                        On the other hand, they normally get fully involved when it comes to  matters relating to their ‘bread and butter’ needs for health care, or the availability of clean water for domestic use, or education; that is to say, those matters which relate directly to the needs of their daily lives. Constitution making is obviously not among such matters.
The matter of the referendum.
            The principal argument for including a referendum in the process of Constitution making is that it facilitates the participation of all the people who are the beneficiaries of that Constitution, and enables them to participate in the process of its enactment.  That is indeed true. However, there is an inherent problem in administering a referendum. And this is what makes this whole exercise appear to be a kind of ‘window dressing’.   Presumably in order to easily administered, referendums normally take the form of one single question, which must be answered by the voter either in the affirmative, or in the negative. A possible question in a referendum on the Constitution could red like this:                                                             “Do you agree with the proposals contained in in this Constitutional document?             
            Such a question, or some variant of it, obviously does not give the voter the opportunity to fully express his opinion. For example, there might be some provisions therein, with which he is in total disagreement, but he will be unable to express his disagreements.  Thus, realistically, it becomes a matter of “take it or leave it”. In which case, his participation amounts to a mere window dressing exercise, aimed at getting the approval of the people, but for positions already predetermined at the earlier levels of the process, by only a few determined activists.
The making of the proposed new Constitution of the United Republic.  
            Kudos to President Jakaya Kikwete, of the fourth phase Government, for his unprecedented initiative of putting in place the process for the enactment of a new Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.  The making of a new Constitution had been a matter of conflict between the ruling party (CCM), and the Opposition parties, supported by some other stake holders. The most vocal demand which was frequently voiced by the Opposition parties, was the demand for the convening of a “National Constitutional Conference”, which would determine the contents of a new multi-party Constitution. These demands were rejected by the ruling party, and thus, no such “national Constitutional Conference was ever convened.                     It may be helpful to put on record here, the reasons for CCM’s rejection of these demands; because it was not just a matter of “the big man in power refusing to listen to the voice of the people”.
            That rejection was based on the democratic principle, namely that of the requisite mandate; which requires that any group of persons seeking to make decisions “on behalf of the people”, such group must have a clear mandate from the people concerned, specifically authorizing it to make the relevant decisions on their behalf. Such mandate can only be obtained through an election which is held specifically for that purpose. A Constitutional Conference such as that which was being demanded would consist only of hand-picked, or even self-appointed, delegates, who have no mandate from the people themselves to undertake the task of Constitution making on their behalf. It would obviously be improper for such a group to undertake such a task. That is precisely why he decided to adhere to the rules governing the making of new Constitutions; and, very commendably, made certain significant innovations amounting to a complete departure from previous practice in this respect.                   
              For example, with regard to the appointment of members of the Constituent Assembly, he appointed not only all the members of the existing Union National Assembly as has been the practice in the past, he also appointed all the existing members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives, and further appointed an additional 201 persons, picked from all the fully registered political parties and from civil society organizations.
But in addition to this enlarged and more representative composition of the Constituent Assembly, President Kikwete made two other significant innovations in his positive departure from previous practice. These were:
            The introduction of a requirement of a referendum to be held for the ratification of the proposed Constitution by all the people. and
            The enactment of a special law to guide the implementation of this whole exercise.
            However, there was some resentment among his fellow leaders and comrades of the ruling party, for his having undertaken such a hugely expensive process. They would have preferred the traditional route of making amendments to the existing Constitution, since no ‘fundamental political change’ had occurred, to justify the making of an entirely new Constitution.
            The historical circumstances surrounding the enactment of each of our Constitutions. It may be helpful also to expose the historical circumstances which surrounded the enactment of each of our Constitutions. This is done in the paragraphs which follow below.
 The Interim Constitution of the United Republic of  Tanganyika and Zanzibar. 1965
            The initial ‘Interim Constitution’ of the United Republic was enacted by Presidential Decree, in exercise of the powers granted to the President by The Articles of Union. Accordingly, President Nyerere issued a decree titled   The Interim Constitution Decree, 1964, which was published as Government Notice No. 246 on 1 / 5 / 1964.
That Decree made the following provisions:-
             (a)That the Constitution of Tanganyika shall be the Interim Constitution of the United Republic, suitably amended to include provisions for the appointment of the President of Zanzibar as Vice-President of the United Republic; and for the appointment of persons from Zanzibar to the Union Parliament.
            (b)The two-government structure of the Union, by vesting  in the President of the United republic, Executive powers in respect of all Union matters throughout the entire United Republic,  that is to say, in both Tanganyika and Zanzibar;  but also in respect  all other matters (including non-Union matters) in respect of Tanganyika. This provision is what abolished the Government of Tanganyika, and placed Tanganyika under the direct rule of the Union Government. 
The Interim constitution of 1965.
            The initial Interim Constitution of the United Republic which had been established by Presidential Decree, was subsequently re- enacted in 1965, which is also known as the ‘One-Party Constitution’.
            The initiative for the introduction of a One-Party Constitution had been taken by the ruling Party (TANU) in January 1963, when a meeting of its National Executive Committee adopted a resolution recommending its introduction “as soon as possible”.  The main motive for this resolution was to find a solution to an apparent conflict of interest, when the political circumstances of the time had forced Tanganyika to operate a de facto One Party system, when the voters decided to return unopposed, a vast majority of the TANU parliamentary candidates in both the pre-independence general elections of 1957/58, and of 1960. 
            This, in effect, amounted to fatal to democracy. It is was denial of justice to the voting population, who were, by default, disenfranchised by being unable to vote, just because their candidates had been returned unopposed.                                            
            That is when President Nyerere argued that “democracy would be better served if the Constitution allowed electoral competition among candidates of the same political party”, when he said the following: “we have to dispense with the discipline of the multi-party system. I would even say that such discipline is not only unnecessary in our prevailing circumstances, but that it is bound, in time, to prove fatal to democracy.  Where there is only one political party, and that party is identified with the nation as a whole, the foundations of democracy are even firmer than they can ever be where you have two or more parties, each representing only a section of the community”. 
            This situation had, indeed,  caused glaring problems especially in the area of electoral democracy, due to the fact that the multi-party Constitution which was in force at the material time, and the associated electoral laws, required electoral competition to take place between different political parties. But the prevailing political reality did not permit this to happen, as evidenced by the outcome of the two preceding general elections held in 1957/58, and in 1960.
            In both those elections, the voting population had practically been disfranchised, by being denied the opportunity to cast their votes due to the fact that TANU candidates had been returned unopposed in the vast majority of constituencies.
            Hence President Nyerere  felt that in the interest of democracy, a different system should be put in place, which would ensure that the voters of Tanganyika in future elections will not be deprived of their right to select their political leaders by actually voting for them.                                  The outcome of these reflections was the One-Party Constitution of 1965; which also became the Interim Constitution of the United Republic, which was enacted by the Parliament of the United Republic, and came into force on 9th July, 1965.
The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977.
            This is the current Constitution of our country. It was enacted on 25th April 1977, by a Constituent Assembly which had been appointed for that purpose, and came into force on 26th April, 1977. This had to be a new Constitution because it satisfied the requirements for a new Constitution, since it provided for a merger of two sovereign states into one new sovereign state, which therefore required a new Constitution.
The historical circumstances surrounding its adoption.
            The interim period of one year during which the interim was designed to operate, was due to expire on 26th April 1965.  However, it was subsequently decided to extend this interim period. Thus in March 1965 (one month before the expiry of the prescribed year), the Parliament of the United Republic enacted a law to extend the interim period to such future date as shall be  determined by the two Principals of the Union, namely the  President of the United Republic in consultation with the President of Zanzibar.  With regard to this extension of time, President Nyerere explained that he, and President Karume, had agreed that instead of rushing into enacting a permanent Constitution for the new Union within only  one year of its formation, it would be more prudent to allow sufficient time for this     Union to operate and get settled properly, in order to enable its people, based on the experience gained from observing its operations, to determine the kind of permanent Constitution which would be most suitable for the new country and nation. But there is an untold part of that story, which is that President Nyerere (who had initially opposed the introduction of a one-government structure for the Union, because of his fear that the ‘enemies’ of this Union would accuse him of having ‘swallowed’ Zanzibar), was personally expecting that given sufficient time, the fear of Zanzibar being ‘swallowed’ would disappear, which would thus make it possible for the permanent Constitution to make provision for a one-government structure of the Union.                                                                                                                      
     However, it took another twelve years before the .envisaged Constituent Assembly was eventually appointed for the purpose of making proposals for a permanent Constitution. The opportunity for the taking of this action was offered by the merger of the two ruling parties (TANU of Tanzania Mainland and ASP of Zanzibar), in February 1977, for it was soon thereafter that the long awaited Constituent Assembly was appointed. 
The said Assembly was able to complete its task very quickly, actually in only one short session of three hours; which enabled the new Constitution to come into force on 26 April 1977, the 13th anniversary of the Union.
            The speed with which the Constituent Assembly was able to work was facilitated by the one-party system of government, whereby all major issues of governance were discussed and decided by the National Executive Committee of the Party.  This state of affairs was confirmed by Prime Minister Edward Sokoine in his speech introducing the draft Constitution in the Constituent Assembly, who said the following:
“This Constituent Assembly is at liberty to either to accept or to reject these proposals. But, Mr Speaker, in exercising that liberty, we ought to be conscious of its limitations. The proposals we are about to debate are the outcome of the Party’s decisions regarding this matter. We Tanzanians, in our abundant wisdom, have determined without hesitation that the Party shall be the ultimate authority in our country. It means therefore that the Constituent Assembly is empowered to reject or amend these proposals,  only if it feels that they are in contravention of, or in conflict with Party policies  If however,  these proposals are seen as  correctly implementing such policies, as indeed is the case,  I humbly beg the Assembly to accept them without even  a moment’s hesitation”.                                                                                                                                As would be expected, in view of the then prevailing doctrine of “Party Supremacy”, the Constituent Assembly rapidly adopted the proposals which were submitted to them.
The Constitution of Zanzibar, 1979.
            The 1979 Constitution of Zanzibar was enacted on 12th February, 1979, by a Constituent Assembly which had been appointed specifically for that purpose. This was a new Constitution because it was enacted in response to a shift of political power from a Revolutionary regime to a new democratic dispensation. It was in fact the first Constitution of Zanzibar to be enacted after the 1964 Revolution had abrogated the Zanzibar Independence Constitution of 1963.
            Although Presidential Decree no 5 of 1964 had served well as a basis for the governance of the Zanzibar State, it was really not a Constitution in the conventional sense of that word.
The historical circumstances surrounding its adoption.
            The Zanzibar Constitution of 1979 resulted from the personal efforts and initiatives of the then President of Zanzibar, Mr. Aboud Jumbe, who became President of Zanzibar following the assassination of President Abeid Karume in April 1972.
We have already referred to the merger between TANU and ASP, an event which created the Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM).  President Jumbe had responded positively to President Nyerere’s proposal in 1975 for this merger, and had actively participated in the process of securing the approval of the ASP to the proposed merger with TANU.  When that was achieved in February 1977, President Jumbe redirected his energies to the democratization of Zanzibar’s institutions of government.  Under the provisions of the ‘Constitutional Government and Rule of Law Decree’ of 1964, the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council was both the Executive as well as the Legislature for Zanzibar.  President Jumbe seems to have been dissatisfied with this state of affairs, so  he stared working on a project to introduce a proper Constitution which makes the traditional  provisions for the separation of powers and functions between the two arms of Government, namely the Executive and the Legislature. The enactment of the Zanzibar Constitution of 1979 was the culmination of his supreme efforts.
            The most important features of the 1979 Constitution of Zanzibar were that it established the Zanzibar House of Representatives, whose members were to be elected by the people of Zanzibar from constituencies established for that purpose. It also made provision for the election of the President of Zanzibar by the people of Zanzibar; and it established other relevant institutions required for the democratic governance of Zanzibar. 
The Constitution of Zanzibar, 1984.
            On the basis of the list given above, of the circumstances which necessitate the making of a new Constitution, the Constitution of Zanzibar of 1984 does not readily qualify for the designation of a new Constitution.  However, as will be explained below, the Zanzibar Authorities had a good reason for deciding to make it a new Constitution.
The historical circumstances surrounding its adoption.
            The 1984 Zanzibar Constitution was a product of some major policy review which was undertaken by the National Executive Committee of Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) in 1981. The principal objective of this review was to identify suitable ways and means of consolidating democracy within the One-Party system, which was in operation at that time.  This review exercise inevitably included a review of the 1977 Constitution of the United Republic, as well as the 1979 Constitution of Zanzibar, with a view to identifying areas which needed reform or improvement.
            Many important decisions were made in respect of these matters, which included the limiting of the President’s period of service to a maximum of only two five-year terms; the reduction of the President’s powers of appointment of public officers to a much smaller number; the introduction of special seats for women representatives in Parliament and in the House of Representatives, and the introduction of Local Government Authorities at the District and the Village levels.
            Consequently, the Constitutions of the United Republic, and of Zanzibar, were accordingly amended; in order to incorporate these major decisions, and to make other consequential provision in relation thereto.
The 2010 Zanzibar Constitution.
            It is worth noting that in 2010, the Zanzibar House of Representatives introduced some major changes in their 1984 Constitution, including the introduction of new provisions which seemingly appear to have made Zanzibar a de facto sovereign state. Yet these major changes were not considered to be a good reason to justify the promulgation of a new Constitution. Hence Zanzibar continues to be governed by its 1984 Constitution, as amended in 2010.   
            As of now, there have been a total of fourteen amendments made to the Constitution of the United Republic since its enactment on 25th April 1977.
Most of them were consequential amendments resulting from the occurrence of events elsewhere, which had necessitated the making of such amendments.  But there were others which can be considered as major amendments, because they substantially altered the fabric of the existing Constitution.  The details of both types of amendments are given below.
1.  The consequential amendments.
            In some cases, appropriate amendments had to be made to the Constitution as a result of the occurrence of certain external events. But in other cases, certain other amendments were also made as a result of internal causes, mostly arising from Court decisions.
(a) Amendments caused by external factors.
            One such event was the break-up of the East African Currency Board. As a result of this occurrence, amendments had to be made to the Constitution in order to add the relevant matters to the list of ‘Union matters’ which appears in the First Schedule to the Constitution. These were “all matters concerning coinage, currency, banks and all banking business, foreign exchange and exchange control”. This was done through amendments made by Parliament on 10th June 1965.
            Similarly, as a result of the break-up of the former East African Community in 1967, the East African Court of Appeal ceased to exist, it therefore became necessary to establish its replacement in Tanzania, namely the Court of Appeal of Tanzania. It was also necessary to transfer all the other matters which had been the responsibility of the Community back to the respective partner states. This necessitated the making of appropriate amendments to the Constitution, in order to add these matters to the list of “Union matters’.
(b) Amendments caused by internal factors.
            However, there were certain other internal events which also necessitated the making of amendments to the Constitution.
            One such event was the High Court decision in the case of Attorney-General v Lesinoi Ndeinai &Joseph Selayo Laizer and two others.
            This case arose from action taken by the Vice-President Aboud Jumbe of the United Republic, who signed a detention order for the preventive detention of certain persons. This was done during the temporary absence of President Nyerere from the country. It had been assumed by the Vice-President’s advisers that the President’s powers were automatically delegated to the Vice-President when the President was absent from the country.   However,   In his judgement, Judge Mwesiumo had ruled as follows:
             “I do not think that the Legislature intended the Constitution to operate so simply and automatically . . . Delegation of powers by the President must be done in writing, and the said written delegation should specify which of the powers exercisable by the President are being delegated to the person named in written delegation”  
            He therefore ruled that the detention order was unlawful.
However upon appeal, Judge Mwesiumo was overruled by the Court of Appeal of Tanzania, which held that “when the President is absent from Tanzania, the functions of the Office of the President are automatically conferred on the Vice-president”.
            In order to avoid such conflicting interpretations of the Constitution by the Courts in future, appropriate amendments were made to the Constitution in order to introduce clear provisions for this automatic delegation of the President’s powers and functions during his absence from the country, or for other causes leading to his inability to carry out his statutory duties and functions.
2. The major Constitutional Amendments.
            Four particular amendments can be placed in this category of major Constitutional Amendments.  These are:
            (1) The1984 amendments (the Fifth Amendment)
            (2) The 1992 amendments (the Eighth Amendment)
            (3) The 1994 amendments (the eleventh Amendment)
            (4) The 2000 amendments (the Eleventh Amendment).
2.1 The 1984 Amendments (The Fifth Amendment).
            We have already referred to the genesis of the 1984 Constitution of Zanzibar.  And also that with regard to the Union Constitution, it was decided not to make a new Constitution, but to introduce amendments to the existing Constitution
            These amendments were cited as the Fourth Amendments to the Constitution.
The far-reaching constitutional reform decisions made by the CCM National Executive Committee were based on its policy document titled “The CCM Guidelines, 1981”.  After the publication of these guidelines, the Party embarked on the exercise of reforming the Constitution in order to accommodate the new policy decisions outlined in the said guidelines.  The Party National Executive Committee even prepared certain specific proposals for the amendment of the Constitution, which were widely circulated for consideration by all the people. A special committee was appointed and mandated to seek and coordinate the views of the general public on these proposals. The relevant discussions were coordinated at every level of the Party structure, starting with the Party Branches. Eventually, the refined proposals were submitted to the two governments for the normal legislative process to take place.
            The end products of this process were (a) the Fifth Amendments to the Constitution of the United Republic, and (b) the new Constitution of Zanzibar, 1984.
2.2 The 1992 Amendments (the Eighth Amendment).
The re-introduction of the multi-party system.
            Again because of the political forces at work during that time, the most salient feature of the 1992 Constitutional Amendments was the re-introduction of the multi-party system of government.
            It all started at a meeting of the CCM National Executive Committee held in February 1990, which made the bold decision which reads as follows:
            “Judging from the circumstances of the global political environment, a change to multi-party politics is inevitable and cannot be avoided”.
            Consequently, the process of implementing that resolution started immediately. President Ali Hassan Mwinyi was mandated to appoint a Presidential Commission which would seek and coordinate the views of the general public on this matter of re-introducing the multi-party political system.
            The Nyalali Commission was quickly appointed, which subsequently recommended the return to the multi-party system. This landmark recommendation was accepted, and new provisions were accordingly introduced in the Constitution. The amended Constitution came into force on 1st July, 1992.
            The salient features of the Eighth Amendments were the following:
            They made provisions for the registration of political  parties, and prescribed the terms, conditions and procedures for such registration,
            They made provision for the appointment of an independent Registrar of Political Parties, and imposed a duty on all such parties (including CCM) to apply to the Registrar for registration.
            They made provision for a minimum number (15%) of Women’s Special seats in Parliament, who were to be appointed by their respective political parties based on a proportional representation system.
            They maintained the restriction on the participation of private candidates in elections, and imposed a requirement for all candidates for election to be sponsored by a political party.
2.3 The 1994 amendments (the Eleventh Amendment)
            The Eleventh Amendment can at best be described as merely introducing consequential amendments. As a result of the major amendments which had been introduced by the Eighth Amendment, namely the re-introduction of multi-party politics in the country.
            The main features of these amendments were that:-
            ( i) The President of Zanzibar ceased to be automatic Vice-President of the United Republic,
            (ii) A new system was introduced of electing the Vice-President, by adopting the American system of ‘running-mate’, under which both the President and the Vice-President are elected together.
The circumstances surrounding their enactment.
            The Articles of Union had made provision for the President of Zanzibar to also be Vice-President of the United Republic. This had worked well during the One-Party system of government.  But the introduction of multi-party politics crated a distinct possibility that the President of Zanzibar and the President of the United Republic could come from different political parties. Thus, if this automatic provision remained in the Constitution, the union government would, by command of the Constitution, become a coalition government of the different political parties of the President and the Vice President respectively. 
A coalition government imposed by the Constitution was considered to be undesirable, because coalition governments are normally formed as a result of negotiations leading to agreement between the parties who wish to enter into such coalition arrangements. This is actually what subsequently happened when an agreement was reached between CCM to form a government of National Unity in Zanzibar after the 2010 General elections.
            Therefore in order to avoid a coalition government which is forced upon political parties by command of the Constitution, a formula had to be found which would ensure that both the President of the United Republic, and the President of Zanzibar, would both come from the same political party. That is when the American running-mate electoral system was introduced. But in order not to leave the President of Zanzibar totally out of the Union structure, provision was also made for the Zanzibar President to be a member of the Union cabinet.
The 2000 Amendments (The Thirteenth Amendment).
            Much like the Eleventh Amendment, the Thirteenth Amendment also properly belongs to the category of consequential amendments, for it did not introduce any provisions relating to any major policy changes. 
            But it qualifies to be discussed together with the major amendments because of on significant reason, namely that whereas those other consequential amendments were not preceded by the appointment of a Presidential Commission to collect and coordinate the peoples’ views on the relevant proposals; the Thirteenth Amendment was subjected to this process. In 1998, President Benjamin Mkapa had appointed a Presidential Commission  for precisely that purpose, under the chairmanship of Judge Robert Kisanga (the Kisanga Commission).
            President Mkapa had probably anticipated that many people would want to propose major changes to the 1977 Constitution, in view of repeated demands, mainly from the opposition political parties, for changes to be made in certain specific areas of the Constitution. The areas which were most frequently mentioned included the following:-
The two-government structure of the Union,
The extensive powers of the President
The requirement for an absolute majority wins in Presidential elections.
The prohibition on the participation of private candidates in elections.
The introduction of the Proportional Representation (PR) system in elections.
Giving the voters power to re-call their members MPs who fail to deliver.
The demand for an independent Electoral Commission
The salient features of the Thirteenth Amendment were the following:-
            They made provision for the President to be elected on a simple majority of all the valid votes cast, instead of an absolute majority of more than 50% of such votes.
            They made provision for a progressive increase in the percentage of women’s reserved seats in Parliament, starting from 30%.
            They established the Human Rights and Good Governance Commission which has the dual mandate of a Human Rights Commission, as well as an Ombundsman.
            The majority of these demands were rejected by the majority of the people in their views presented to the Kisanga Commission.
For example, with regard to the issue of the structure of the Union; the Kisanga Commission of sixteen members, with three members dissenting, recommended the introduction of a three-government structure.  But on the basis of the statistics provided by the Commission itself, the vast majority of the respondents had rejected this structure and opted to retain the two-government structure.   
The Commission’s published statistics disclose the following results:-
            In Zanzibar, a total of  22,874 persons contributed to the debate on this particular matter, of whom 41 persons  (0.18%) had recommended a one-government structure; while 22,017 persons (96.25%) had recommended the retention of a two-government structure; while only 797 persons (3.48%)  had recommended a three-government structure.
In Mainland Tanzania, a total of 43,231 persons discussed this matter, of whom 4,285 persons ((9.91%%) recommended a one-government structure; while  36,733 persons (84.97%) had opted for the retention of a two-government structure; and only 2,855 (4.32%) persons had recommended a three-government structure.

               THE ARTICLES OF UNION
            WHEREAS the Governments of the Republic of Tanganyika and of the People’s Republic of Zanzibar, being mindful of a long association of the peoples of these lands and of their ties of kinship and amity, and being desirous of furthering that association and strengthening of these ties, and of furthering the unity of African peoples, have met and considered the union of the Republic of Tanganyika with the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar:
            AND WHEREAS the Governments of the Republic of Tanganyika and of the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar are desirous that the two Republics shall be united in one Sovereign Republic in accordance with the Articles hereinafter contained:
            It is therefore AGREED between the Government of the Republic of Tanganyika and of the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar as follows:
            The Republic of Tanganyika and the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar shall be united in one Sovereign Republic.
            During the period from the commencement of the union until the Constituent Assembly provided for in Article (vii) shall have met and adopted a Constitution for the United Republic (hereinafter referred to as the interim period), the United Republic shall be governed in accordance with the provisions of Articles (iii) to (vi).
During the interim period the Constitution of the  United Republic shall be the of Tanganyika so modified as to provide for –
            a separate Executive and Legislature in and for Zanzibar from time to time constituted in accordance with the existing laws of Zanzibar and having exclusive authority within Zanzibar for matters other than those reserved to the Parliament and Executive of the United Republic; the offices of two Vice-Presidents, one of whom (being a person normally resident in Zanzibar) shall be the Head of the aforesaid Executive in and for Zanzibar, and shall  be the principal assistant of the President of the United Republic in the discharge of his executive functions in relation to Zanzibar.
            (c) The representation of Zanzibar in the Parliament of the United Republic.
            (d) Such other matters as may be expedient or desirable to give effect to the United Republic and to these Articles.
There shall be reserved to the Parliament and Executive of the United Republic the following  matters –
            The Constitution and Government of the United Republic;
            External Affairs;
            Emergency Powers;
            External Trade and Borrowing;
            The public Service  of the United Republic;
            Income Tax, Corporation Tax, Customs and Excise; and
Harbors, Civil Aviation, Posts and Telegraphs.
            And the said Parliament and Executive shall have exclusive authority in such matters throughout and for the purposes of the United Republic, and in addition, exclusive authority in respect of all other matters in and for Tanganyika.
            The existing laws of Tanganyika and Zanzibar shall remain in force in their respective territories subject:-
             to any provision made hereafter by a competent Legislature;
             to such provision as may be made by order of the President of the United Republic for the extension to Zanzibar of any law relating to any of the matters set out in Article (iv), and the revocation of any corresponding law of Zanzibar;
            To such amendments as may be expedient or desirable to give effect to the Union and to these Articles.
            (a) The first President of the United Republic shall be Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, and shall carry on the Government of the United Republic in accordance with the provisions of these Articles and with the assistance of the Vice-President aforesaid and of such other ministers and officers as he may appoint from Tanganyika and Zanzibar and their respective public services.
            The President of the United Republic in agreement with the Vice-President who is Head of the Executive in Zanzibar shall:-
            Appoint a Commission to make proposals for a Constitution of the United Republic.
 Summon a Constituent Assembly composed of representatives from Tanganyika and from Zanzibar in such numbers as they may determine, to meet within one year of the commencement of the Union for the purpose of considering the proposals of the Commission aforesaid, and to adopt a Constitution for the United Republic.
            These Articles shall be subject to the enactment of laws by the Parliament of Tanganyika and by the Revolutionary Council of the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar in conjunction with the Cabinet of Ministers thereof, ratifying the same and providing for the Government of the United Republic and of Zanzibar in accordance therewith.
            IN WITNESS WHEREOF  Julius K. Nyerere, the President of the Republic of Tanganyika and Abeid Karume, the President of the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar, have signed these Articles in Zanzibar, on this twenty second day of April,1064.  
Source: Cde Pius Msekwa