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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

APRM: Tanganyika-Zanzibar union has made major strides

6th April 2012

The Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar has recorded quite significant strides since it was established despite the many challenges it has been facing.

This is according to the newly updated African Peer Review Mechanism (PRM-Tanzania) report which also mentions the governance challenges that need to be addressed as the need for enactment of a new and participatory constitution, resolving the Union question and making the nationally growing economy beneficial to majority of the poor in the society.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday before the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security, APRM Tanzania Executive Secretary, Rehema Twalib said the Union between the two countries saves as a role model which many countries have always taken as a successful example.

Twalib mentioned that among the areas that made the union strengthened are promotion of constitutional democracy, entrenching rule of law and holding peaceful multi-party elections.

“There are few countries in the world that have managed to maintain their unity, Tanganyika and Zanzibar (Tanzania) deserve that pride,” she said.

In the circumstances the APRM decided to conduct a study in both countries from which it could get the views of the citizens, stressed Twalib.

According to her, it is high time they briefed their key stakeholders in the two countries on their people’s demands.

She confirmed that more engagement of political leaders and other key stakeholders has to be done in both Mainland and Zanzibar.

“Although we are proud and enjoy the fruits of the Union, it is without challenges that ought to be looked at,” she said.

Some of the challenges facing the Union include the need to have one monetary policy for smooth implementations of economic issues.

Twalib added: “Reports that the country has discovered oil is another thing that appears to create conflicts… While, it is clearly stated in the constitution that oil and gas are Union matters, there is no formula that verify on the division of revenue between the two countries”.

“There was once a suggestion by experts on the formula, but the Zanzibar Representatives in 2010 rejected the proposal saying that it should not be included in the Union,” she said.

For his part, APRM member, John Shibuda (MP) underlined that Tanzania being among 30 countries which have acceded to the mechanism, is looking forward to attain more political stability, high economic growth and strengthened good governance.

Besides, it aims to creating a conducive climate to attract more investment, upon successfully implementing the programme whose reports are issued after every four years, he added.

“As a country that has always cherished values of good governance and transparency, we are more than ready to be advised. We are ready to face the challenges and we are ready to be assessed,” said Shibuda when talking on the importance of the report to the country.

Shibuda said that APRM is not there to criticise the government but to provide authentic information on its performance on upholding values of democracy, good governance and accountability.

A 21-member team of experts from the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has been on a three-week visit to Tanzania since last month, during which it collected public views on the country’s performance that will be presented to the African Union Summit in July this year.

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