Thursday, September 27, 2012

A big lie about our union

Mobhare Matinyi, Washington DC  The Citizen, Tanzania Thursday, 27 September 2012
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As Judge Joseph Warioba’s Constitutional Review Commission continues gathering people’s views on the new constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, some anti-unionists have found a forum to air their outright lie regarding the meaning and the future of our 48-year union.

As known, sometime in 1925 Adolph Hitler said in his famous book, Mein Kampf, which literally means, ‘My Struggle’ that, “If you repeat a lie many times, people are bound to start believing it.” Surely, a section of Tanzanians in Zanzibar have bought a lie into their minds without fully understanding its intent, meaning, and implications because of the heavily pumped detestation of the union perpetrated by anti-unionists for decades.
The newly circulated argument that ours is a constitutional union and that some Zanzibaris want a union under a treaty is one of the biggest lies ever told by a Tanzanian to fellow Tanzanians. Sensibly, whether looking from a legal or political perspective, there is neither a constitutional union nor a union under a treaty. In international law, a treaty, agreement, protocol, or a convention is what makes a union while a constitution is simply the highest law of the land.

The truth is, the proponents of this deceptive rhetoric are simply secessionists who seek pleasing language to terminate the Union while at the same time looking for a safe haven for the fragile sovereign state of Zanzibar in the event the Union falls apart in its entirety because partly the union is already gone. That’s it!
What is a constitution? It is the most fundamental law that guides a community, which in our case is the United Republic of Tanzania. Pragmatically, a constitution is consent between rulers and the ruled on how a country should be run, which means a nation-state precedes its constitution.

Now, how can we have a constitutional union while in its actuality a constitution is the instrument that simply runs a nation?
But what is a union? How many types of unions do we have in the world? A union is a complete unification of two or more sovereign states to form a single sovereign state, which entails the cessation of the former sovereignties although their executives, legislatures and judiciaries may continue to function under the newly formed sovereign state.

In reality, a union may have one government under a unitary system like the Germans adopted under the Unification Treaty in 1990, or may choose to have a federation, which requires the continuation of the previous governments and establishment of a new federal government as is the case in the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates.
Tanzania is neither a unitary state nor a federation because our founding fathers, for what appeared to be good reasons back then, chose to have a two-government system with the union government managing the Mainland, and not vice versa, a reason why currently Zanzibaris work in the government that rules Mainland Tanzania in all levels from vice president to police constables. Candidly, Zanzibar, which enjoys enormous autonomy, is the main beneficiary of the union in every aspect despite a few problems.
The Tanzanian system is not unique as some misinformed people claim. The United Kingdom is a union of four countries with four governments since the union government rules England while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own.

Clearly, all unions have two things in common, i.e. a treaty and a constitution. Hence, arguing that there is another union under a treaty is meaningless; nevertheless in 1964 our leaders signed a treaty called the Articles of Union, the legal instrument that created this union.

Now, what is the logic of this talk about a new type of union, which is neither a unitary nor a federation, not even a confederacy based on their demands?
An argument that the European Union is an example of this strange thing is a big laugh. The EU has no single sovereignty, was formed by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, and has its constitution. Likewise, the Sirte Declaration of 1999 created the African Union with its Constitutive Act. Both, the EU and the AU have treaties and constitutions.
So, are we going to have a bogus union as demanded by the secessionists inside another imaginary African union? What about the dream of the East African Federation?
What anti-unionists in Zanzibar want is simply the break-up of the union but keep some parasitic relationship with Mainland Tanzania for the survival of Zanzibar. Our comrades want to eat their cake and have it, that is, the marriage is bad but the romantic relationship for the survival of the weaker side is acceptable!
Yes, we have the right to discuss the future of our Union, but deceptive rhetoric won’t help. The truth is sacred, and honestly, that type of a union does not exist.


Anonymous said...

Mobhare Matinyi...This is one of the weakest arguments I have never read in my life. We Zanzibar’s people have been sick and tired of this so called Union ever since its establishment. Simply, the Union has failed Zanzibar in every aspects of life and thus why we want to be out of it, way before the Warioba’s Constitutional Review Commission was put in place to collect people opinions on new Constitution (by the way that will be new Tanganyika Constitution) as it has always been since Zanzibar has its own constitution that so far fulfill our needs and we might consider change it in the near future so it can accommodate the modern society of Zanzibaris.
Anti-Unionists have never lie about this Union effects rather they are speaking the naked truth about the Union failures on Zanzibar side but some of you Mainlanders don’t understand or want to hear, agree, and admit the facts. The Union has so many benefits to you that made you write this type of article while crying wolf since you know that, when this Union is gone, it means the foreign aids will be reduced drastically since you have sold most of your natural resources to foreigners, your budget will be scrambled. You know better that, some of Zanzibaris who are currently pay taxes(Income taxes, sales taxes and other taxes) to the Union government (taxes that contribute in running the ministries that are not even Union based) will be gone. So yes, you have to be very upset when you hear about the Anti-Unionists. Why are you going around the circle to define the Union and literally denounced this current Union? As you stated that, in legal or political perspectives, there is neither a constitutional union nor union under treaty? I will advise not to make comparison of Tanzania Union with United States or any other type of union existed, the Tanzanian Union is simply unbearable.
The truth is, we did not unit with Tanganyika just because we were so poor or we needed you so bad, simply we united at the time based on Pan-African movement that was going on at the time, then you can ask yourself a question why is that, no other country ever ask to join our Union if that was the case. We had everything of our own; we were not as fragile as you made us to be now so that you can have points to defend the Union. One of the founding fathers of this Union, the Late Hon. Karume wanted drastic changes in the Union structure just 7 years after it was established but within 6 months later he was killed. The president that proceeded him Hon. Aboud Jumbe wanted the same thing, what happened to him? He got stripped off all of his posts by Mw. Nyerere. Why is that, if we united by will and not by force or threats, or tricks? The Late Karume and Jumbe saw the negative effects of the Union the way it is on the first hand as they were Presidents of Zanzibar not just the current anti-unionists, have you ever had a thought on that.
For your information and future reference and you may tell your fellows as well that, Zanzibaris want to be out of this Union because we know we will be way better off than to be within this Union as we were better off than you (Tanganyika) before the Union. There is nothing deceptive about it, just deal with the reality and move on with your lives. France and Kenya have their full sovereign, their presidents, their currency, their parliaments, and control every aspects of their economy not like Zanzibar, but at the same time French and Kenya are members of the European Union and African Union respectively, and that’s the type of Union we Zanzibar want. Your problem is that, you’ve got used in controlling us, well not anymore. You clearly and openly don’t want to have fair partnership but a bully one, well we can part our ways then if that’s the case.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing..