Zanzibar: Constitution

Updated September 2010

Zanzibari law overall is governed by the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977, the main provisions of which are discussed in Tanzania: Constitution.

UNION MATTERS A list of 22 items that are exclusive Union matters is the basis of the division of powers between the Union and Zanzibar. In general these are matters that are usually reserved to the central government of a federation such as defence, currency, foreign affairs etc[1].
CONSTITUTION Constitution adopted in 1984. Amended 1990, 1992, 2002[2].
FORM OF STATE Autonomous unit within the United Republic of Tanzania
HEAD OF STATE The President is head of government and chair of the Revolutionary Council. The President is may not serve more that two consecutive terms of five years each[3].
EXECUTIVE The President is the head of the executive. There are two Vice Presidents, the first is from the main opposition party in the House of Representatives; ministries in the Revolutionary Government are allocated according to the number of seats won in the House of Representatives. The President, the vice presidents and the ministers, together with the the Attorney General and others appointed by the President form the Revolutionary Council[4].
LEGISLATURE The legislature comprises the President and the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives consists of between 40-55 (usually 50) members from single member constituencies elected by plurality and 10 members nominated by the President (two in consultation with the opposition), while the five regional commissioners and the Attorney General are ex officio members. Further members are appointed by parties on a pro rata basis to ensure that 30% of the total member are women[5].
JUDICIARY The judicial system is comprised of a High Court and subordinate courts and tribunals. Appeal is made to the Appeal Court of the United Republic except for constitutional and religious court issues which are settled by the High Court. High Court judges are appointed by the President in consultation with the Judicial Services Commission[6].
AMENDMENT The Constitution can be amended by a two-thirds majority in both first and second readings[7].
DEMOCRACY PROTECTION AGENCIES The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance plays the dual role of an ombudsman and of a human rights commission, promoting awareness of human rights and investigating violations[8].
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) is responsible for the conduct of national presidential, National Assembly and local government elections[9].
The Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) is responsible for the conduct of Zanzibar presidential and House of Representatives elections[10]

Table notes

[1] Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania 1977, Article 4(2) and the First Schedule.
[2] Matthews 2002, 1029-1033; Constitution of Zanzibar 1984, including amendments up until 2002.
[3] Constitution of Zanzibar 1984, Articles 26, 28(3).
[4] Constitution of Zanzibar 1984, Articles 26, 39, 41. THe Constitution was amended after a referendum in July 2010 to give effect to these arrangements which would govern the distribution of executive power following the 2010 elections in October 2010. The post of Chief Minister, who was responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the government, was abolished.
[5] Constitution of Zanzibar 1984, Article 64.
[6] Constitution of Zanzibar 1984, Article 93, 94, 99.
[7] Constitution of Zanzibar 1984, Article 80.
[8] Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania 1977, Article 129(1).
[9] Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania 1977, Article 74(5),(13).
[10] Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania 1977, Article 74(13); Constitution of Zanzibar 1984, Articles 119-120.

References

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA 1977 (CAP 2), [www] http://www.policeforce.go.tz/pdf/REPUBLIC.pdf, [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 8 Mar 2010).

CONSTITUTION OF ZANZIBAR 1984, came into effect on January 12, 1985, includes amendments up to 2002 (see also 2010 Constitutional referendum results), [www] http://www.tz.undp.org/ESP/docs/Legal_Documents/Zanzibar_Constitution.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 12 Nov 2010).

MATTHEWS, G 2002 "Tanzania: Recent History" IN Murison, K (ed), Africa South of the Sahara 2002, Europa Publications.

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