After more than 50 years of standing behind Tanzania’s shadow, Zanzibar now wants to be counted and forge its identity

Tanzanian President John Magufuli (L) with Zanzibari President Ali Mohamed Shein
  • The island which consists of the island of Zanzibar or Unjuga, Pemba and smaller neighbouring islands is now seeking amendments to the East African Community Treaty.
  • Zanzibar House of Representatives Zubeir Ali Maulid says the time had come for the Isles to elect their own members to the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala).
  • In April, Tanzania will be commemorating 55 years of the Union of Tanganyika and the offshore island nation of Zanzibar.

Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous territory in political union with Tanzania is starting to get weary of forever standing behind Tanzania’s shadow and now wants to heard and counted.

The island which consists of the island of Zanzibar or Unjuga, Pemba and smaller neighbouring islands is now seeking amendments to the East African Community Treaty to allow it to choose its representatives to the regional assembly.

On Tuesday, while addressing the regional assembly sitting in Zanzibar, Speaker of the Zanzibar House of Representatives Zubeir Ali Maulid said that the time had come for the Isles to elect their own members to the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala).

“We reiterate that Article 50 of the East African Community Treaty be revised to allow the Zanzibar legislature to elect members of the assembly from Zanzibar,” he said.

The article states that: “The National Assembly of each partner state shall elect, not from among its members, nine members of the Assembly, who shall represent as much as it is feasible, the various political parties represented in the National Assembly, shades of opinion, gender and other special interest groups in that partner state, in accordance with such procedures as the National Assembly of each partner state may determine.”

Currently, each partner state is allowed to nominate nine members with Tanzania’s national parliament in Dodoma deciding the nine representatives who represent the Union — Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.

Maryam Ussi, an EALA member from Tanzania, lend support to Zanzibar’s quest saying the Island should send nine representatives to Eala “because it is a country: It has its own economic issues and its own political issues, which are slightly different from those of the Mainland.”

Ms Ussi admitted that Zanzibar’s issues are not currently being fully addressed in the regional assembly.

“We cover all Tanzania’s interests in Eala, but Zanzibar will benefit more if we send nine members from there,” she said.

In April, Tanzania will be commemorating 55 years of the Union of Tanganyika and the offshore island nation of Zanzibar.

Our newsletter gives you access to a curated selection of the most important stories daily.

Welcome to the Pulse Community! We will now be sending you a daily newsletter on news, entertainment and more. Also join us across all of our other channels - we love to be connected!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote poised to overtake another Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin on Bloomberg billionaires list

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote poised to overtake another Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin on Bloomberg billionaires list

Mzee Kibor's will made public, revealing how vast wealth and millions will be distributed

Mzee Kibor's will made public, revealing how vast wealth and millions will be distributed

Ini Edo posts new photos amid reports of welcoming a baby through surrogacy

Ini Edo posts new photos amid reports of welcoming a baby through surrogacy

Mathias Pogba brands Paul Pogba 'a so-called Muslim steeped in witchcraft' amid fetish claims about Kylian Mbappe

Mathias Pogba brands Paul Pogba 'a so-called Muslim steeped in witchcraft' amid fetish claims about Kylian Mbappe

Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

Ne-Yo speaks out after wife Crystal announced end of their 8-year marriage

Ne-Yo speaks out after wife Crystal announced end of their 8-year marriage

Eddie Butita speaks on his fallout with Miss Mandi, offers her a job

Eddie Butita speaks on his fallout with Miss Mandi, offers her a job

Sadio Mane the odd one out as Bayern Munich stars take team photo with glasses of beer

Sadio Mane the odd one out as Bayern Munich stars take team photo with glasses of beer

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, adds extra $915 million to his vast wealth in Q1 2022

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, adds extra $915 million to his vast wealth in Q1 2022