The oil and gas issue was not added to the list of union matters through dubious means as it has been claimed by some members of the House of Representatives.
This was said by Dole constituency Representative Shawana Buheti Hassan (CCM) when contributing to the Zanzibar government budget speech.
Shawana displayed several documents, including Hansards, which showed that oil and gas were formally included on the list of union matters in 1968 after an agreement by both sides of the union.
He identified some peple who were fully involved in the process as former Zanzibar president Abeid Amani Karume, former Isles vice-president Abdallah Kassim Hanga, Abdulrahman Babu, Aboud Jumbe Mwinyi, Idris Abdulwakil and Hassan Nassor Moyo.
Others were Ibrahim Sadala Akida, Mwidini Omar, Khamis Machano and former secretary general of Afro-Shirazi Party Thabiti Kombo.
Shawana challenged fellow members of the House to cultivate a culture researching before speaking about any issue in public to avoid the danger of misleading Tanzanians. He however said the people of Zanzibar were fully entitled to reclaim this matter from the union list, adding that it was not right for some people to make sweeping statements that only lead to controversy and confusion on the union. Special Seats Representative Panya Ali Abdalla (CCM) opposed the proposal to break the union, saying it benefited a lot of people from both parties to the union.
She said there were more benefits from the union than disadvantages, calling on the people to make their opinions known through the Constitutional Review Commission with a view to finding solutions to the union problems.
For his part, Health deputy minister Dr Sira Ubwa Mamboya said the union had brought many benefits, citing herself as an example as her education was sponsored by the union government.
She said every person should be left to give their opinion instead of officials speaking on their behalf.
“No leader has been given the right to give opinions on behalf of others…let the people air their opinions themselves,” she said. Infrastructure and Communications deputy minister Issa Haji Gavu said the right time for people to give their opinions was during the constitutional review process.