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50 Years of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar

A Special Issue of the AFRICAN REVIEW1 A Journal of African Politics, Development and International Affairs ISSN 0856-0056 (Print), ISSN 1821-889X (Online) Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Dar es Salaam

Editors Alexander Makulilo, Ngwanza Kamata & Oportuna Kweka

On 26 April, 2014 the United Republic of Tanzania will mark the 50th anniversary of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The anniversary coincides with the constitution making process which is expected to be completed in April 2014. Over this span of time, the Union has experienced successes and challenges. One of its major achievements is regarded as the maintenance of stability and peace in the country. Yet, there have been persistent debates on the nature and practices with regard to the Union to the extent of questioning its legitimacy and relevance. The main question surrounding the Union is the structure and its related list of Union matters. The Union is of two governments, i.e., the Union government and the government of Zanzibar. The Union government caters for both non-Union matters pertaining to Tanzania mainland (then Tanganyika which ceased to exist with the formation of the Union) and for the Union matters. On the other hand, the government of Zanzibar deals with all non-Union matters specific for Zanzibar. Likewise, the list of Union matters has increased from the initial eleven to twenty two items. While the disappearance of Tanganyika raises arguments and concerns for reclaiming it, the increase of Union matters has been considered as constraining Zanzibars autonomy. Hence the central struggles have been largely centred on autonomy claims as well as resource and power distribution between the two sides of the Union. In order to address the challenges of the Union, the Presidential Commission of 1991 recommended for a federal structure of three governments, i.e., the government of Tanganyika, the government of Zanzibar, and the federal government. This recommendation, however, was not implemented. The debate re-emerged in 1993 in the Tanzanias National Assembly when 55 MPs (the G55) signed a motion demanding the restoration of the government of Tanganyika. The Assembly passed a resolution in favour of the motion. Interestingly, the resolution was later withdrawn after the

It is one of the oldest journals in Africa and was first published in March 1971. It is a peer reviewed journal hosted and run by the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Dar es salaam. Since April, 2013, the Journal is also published online. The April Issue Volume 40, Number 1 of 2013 can be accessed as free issue at

intervention by the then retired President Julius Nyerere. In 1998 another Presidential Commission was formed and recommended for a federal structure of three governments. Again the government did not accept this recommendation. In 2013 the Presidential Commission on Constitutional Review has also recommended a federal structure of three governments. There are now debates for one government, two governments, three governments and even for the break-up of the Union. As the Union is passing through this testing moment, this special issue provides a platform for the critical engagement with the past, present and future of the Union. Papers for this call should focus on one of the following themes or any other related matter: Legalism and the sanctity of the Union Territoriality and Autonomy claims The structure of the Union Resource and power distribution Issues of mobility, identity, citizenship, sense of belonging in the Union Union elections Rationale and legitimacy of the Union Constitutional making Review and the Union The Union and the East African Community The Statehood of Zanzibar Uamsho and the Union The Union and Pembas Independence The editors plan to organize a workshop for potential contributors towards the end of January 2014 in Dar es Salaam. This call also serves as a call for papers for the 2014 workshop. Please note that we do not have access to travel funds to cover the cost of getting to Dar es Salaam. If you have any questions or wish to submit an abstract, please email (with Union Special Issue in the subject line) to: Please note important deadlines: to send abstract is 20th September 2013; submission of a manuscript for selected abstracts 5th December 2013; workshop 27th -28th January 2014. The special issue will be published in April 2014.