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Zanzibar minister: New constitution solution to challenges facing Union

7th May 2012
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Minister of State in the Second Vice Presidentís Office, Mohammed Aboud Mohammed

The Zanzibar Minister of State in the Second Vice President’s Office has said the new constitution will provide answers to challenges facing the Union and called upon the Zanzibar people to air their views, which will help strengthen it.

Speaking about the 48th Union anniversary, Minister of State in the Second Vice President’s Office, Mohammed Aboud Mohammed, said the Union had helped to boost economic power due to market expansion between Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.

The minister said the Union had also helped to unite the two parties to it and increase trade between them. He noted that the Union had been beneficial to the Zanzibar people, who had managed to access a market of 40 million people and ever since the Union was formed in 1964, the people of Zanzibar had profited in many ways.

He said Zanzibar had a population of 1.2 million people and the Union had helped to boost people’s financial base particularly through the strategy for economic growth and poverty reduction.

However, he called on the people to use platforms geared towards the collection of views and opinions on the new constitution to help address thoroughly problems that marred the Union.

“Constitutional changes will help address the shortcomings of the Union so that each part receives fair treatment and plays its part in furthering the Union," said the minister.

He said the government would continue educating the people on the Union’s advantages and disadvantages in case it would cease to exist, so that people collaborated to strengthen peace and national unity.

He said all countries that had a form of a Union had managed to make huge development strides, citing the countries of the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and even the European Union.

“The Constitutional Review Commission will educate members of the public about the Union and listen to their views. The solution should not focus on nullifying it but addressing issues that are problematic," said the minister.

He said the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar had blessings of the people from both parties since its inception in 1964.

He explained that before the signing of the Articles of the Union, first Zanzibar President Abeid Amani Karume gave the people an opportunity to decide.

“Records are there showing how the people were involved through the Revolutionary Council of Zanzibar, while in Tanganyika, the Parliament made the decision in 1964," he said.

Aboud Mohammed said through rallies, the Late Karume asked the people: "Do you want the Union, do you love the Union?” The people responded: “We are happy with," he quoted one of the late Karume’s speeches.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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