Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This Union Thing: I Just Don’t Get It…

I don’t have hatred for Zanzibar. As a matter of fact, my very own young brother lives there. Nonetheless, from a political standpoint, I don’t get it when Tanganyikans are forced forgo everything their own while letting Zanzibaris keep everything theirs. Coming to think of it, I don’t even blaming Zanzibaris for that. They got the best deal out of Nyerere’s utopian dreams of forming a union.

So this is what is really puzzling me, if not ticking me off: why would Zanzibar reject the applicability of the corruption bill in Zanzibar, while members of the parliament from Zanzibar apparently attend and vote during the Bunge sessions (which is an implication of representation and binding of their constituents)? Why don’t they just stay back in Zanzibar, particularly on those bills considered “non-union”? Why do they make their way to the mainland to collect their daily per diem funded by the Tanganyikan taxpayers?
The core question is this, why let Zanzibar members of parliament make decisions for Tanganyikans, while Tanganyikans can't do the same in the opposite direction?

Some issues don’t make sense to me.

If this were a marriage in its true sense, Nyerere courted and married a girl she hardly knew. The only thing I see is unnecessary complexities that we can avoid by either forming a true marriage or calling it quits.

I would prefer calling it quits, quite honestly.


Maiki said...

Exactly! A union is a combination so formed, especially an alliance or confederation of people, parties, or political entities for mutual interest or benefit. Being united refers to the state of being in one accord; harmony. Jaduong, I see no such qualities in the current Tanganyika - Zanzibari marriage. Yes, the idea behind the union may have been brilliant, however, over the years, we've seen how screwed up the system is. Indeed, Nyerere did court and marry some trouble! The union just don't seem to work period! This is a typical example of a forced marriage. A forced marriage is a marriage that is performed under duress and without the full and informed consent or free will of both parties. I believe that Tanganyika is better-off without the union. How long will the mainland bow down to the pressures from the isles? It is about time to cut them loose and concentrate on other important mainland issues! Otherwise, let there be a government of national unity. We don't need two presidents! We don't need two sovereign states! Zanzibar and Pemba can be just like any other regions in the mainland. The idea behind two independent governments is the chief cause of confusion. I wonder how things would come to play if the opposition were in-charge of Zanzibar and vice-versa? It's no wonder CCM is always accused of rigging the elections in the isles. The union just doesn't seem to work! Mbona tunalazimisha mambo? Tangu lini fahari wawili wakakaa kwenye zizi moja? The failure of the union has been covered for too long. It is about time that we realized that covering failure is a demonstration of immaturity (don't we all know that no one is perfect?). An atmosphere of growth provides room for failure. Let us accept the truth that MUUNGANO has failed and seek for better ways to move forward!

I also prefer calling it quits. After all, based on how things stand right now, I don't see no union! LET TANGANYIKA BE TANGANYIKA AND ZANZIBAR BE ZANZIBAR! We can be good neighbors, trading partners...whatever!

Matthew 12:25-27

Sam GM said...


I think both Tanganyika and Zanzibar stand to loose more than to gain by this union, by the mere fact that both sides do not understnd the implications of the union and its outcomes. It is vividly clear that both sides have no objectives for this union and have no clue what the union caters for. I honestly agree with you that it is much better to do away with this so called marriage of convinience simply because both sides went for the wrong suitor.

Amendments should be drafted either for or against this union and whichever path one side would choose to tread in should be binding rather than cohesion. Next week is a 43rd memorial holiday for this union, it is high time that both leaders of Tanganyika and zanzibar went to the drawing board and deliberate burning issues for this terrible union to either break or make rather than unnecessary national ceremony that comes back to the concerned citizen like a non sufficient check.

Jaduong Metty said...

@Maiki and Sam,
It is obvious that we have a culture of fear. May be the fear of unknown. May be it is flat out cowardice. But whatever it is, the union issue is a thorny one – with Zanzibaris having an upper hand. As I said, that’s their prerogative if they managed to negotiate and got those favorable terms. And I applaud Zanzibaris for having enough guts to ask for what they wanted.

So my trouble is with the mainland leaders who, for whatever reasons, have failed to demand and stand up for the mainland’s rights. At times I honestly respect Rev. Mtikila for having guts enough to call a spade a spade. I know that rubs the CCM machinery the wrong way, but someone has to do it.

But what I really think is stupid, if not comical, is this idea of holding regular meetings between the PM and whatever guy it is from Zanzibar to “normalize and harmonize” union issues. What the heck is that? Weren’t the union issues charted out in the original union documents? Do we really need a union that is renegotiated on a monthly or quarterly basis?

J-View said...

It is just radiculous to even think about it. What really are we going to celebrate on the 43rd memorial holiday for this union? what have we accomplished since the death of the first Groom (Mwalimu)? I also think it is time when these two leaders meet to 'normalize and harmonize'they should talk some sense for the benefit of us regular citizens. I would really like to hear from a Zanzibarian on how they perceive the union.

Maiki said...

Jaduong! I don't think there's a fear of the unknown as far as this issue is concerned. For a very long time, we have been made to believe that Mwalimu was a genius! Mhhh....that's another topic all together. However, I strongly believe that there's a fear of pointing out that Mwalimu made a mistake. The majority of the leaders in our mainland government campaign under the banner of being a staunch Mwalimu supporters/followeres and as long as this puts them in Bunge...few if any dare point out his flops!! At the end of the day, I think that the union is a total failure and I am calling for the current leadership to seriously consider filing for a NO-FAULT DIVORCE! Common reasons for no-fault divorce include: incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, and irremediable breakdown of the marriage. Sounds like the Muungano marriage to me! Need I say more?

Anonymous said...

ESCALATION OF COMMITMENT, at one time in business class i learned about this phylosophy. What does it mean? A leader who holds unto his/her decision though it has proven failure only for reputation stability. This is what i see in this MUUNGANO drama. Eveybody knows that it doesn't work to each side, but they try to keep it just for Nyerere's rep...Nani wa kumfunga paka kengele!!
Huu muungano upo kama boya tu so as to protect the interest of few people. If i was influantial in this small land, i would have civilians participated to vote for the this "union" existence, unfortunately i'm voiceless!!!!!!!!!

Patrick GK said...

I'm with you all on this one, I think this muungano thing the way it's structured, if it has any structure that is, is flawed.

Tanganyikans are not happy with it and neither are Zanzibaris but at least the Zanzibaris have the guts to go ahead with their own flag and anthem.

Weren't Zanzibaris just recently even asking to see the apparently elusive original copy of the muungano document? Although they got a good runaround but at least they had the audacity to request it.

Tanganyikans on the other hand, after the defeat of the G55 wabunges haven't even bothered, why? Who knows...

Maiki said... is a good thing that you brought the G-55 into this discussion. It is worth pointing out that the CCM WAHESHIMIWA'S who made up the group were silenced in 1995 when Mwalimu lashed out at them when they demanded the creation of a three-tier government. Mwalimu went as far as accusing the then Prime Minister John Malecela for misleading President Mwinyi over the G-55 call. This led to Mwinyi dropping Malecela from being the PM. It is only fair to conclude that many Tanganyikans are mum about the MUUNGANO issue for a simple fact that a cry against muungano is viewed as an act of disloyalty to Baba wa Taifa!...and who in the political arena has the nerves to challenge Mwalimu's WISDOM without the threat of alienation? I am anxious to see how the JK government will address this issue, or will they keep up with the CCM moto of "DON'T ASK DON'T TELL!" Mhhhh....I wonder if the old man's ghost is always present at CHIMWAGA...I sincerely wonder!

Barsawad said...

Is 'divorce' possible?

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anonymous 10:19 PM
I strongly believe that your theory is 100% applicable in our situation. There are plenty of failures that we have seen in Bongoland, the Muungano thing included, but for some weird reason, these folks would not let go! Only an insane person would do that. But may be they know what we don't...

Jaduong Metty said...

@Patrick and Maiki,
The G55 issue you brought up is just an indication that the may be the Nyerere "ghost" is haunting some Tanganyikans. Honestly, folks have garnered some votes for pretending to uphold Nyerere's ideals. As such, anything viewed as veered off of the Nyerere's legacy could definitely be detrimental to one's political career. It is like "try that at your own risk".

I think "divorce" is possible. Nonetheless, who's bold enough in Tanzania to call a spade a spade? In my opinion, what we have in Tanzania is a bunch of sissy but very corrupt "leaders" who'd rather maintain the status quo for the sake of their tummies.

Anonymous said...

I see that you all mainland folks talking about quiting muungano all together. THAT WILL BE A GREAT THING IF EVER HAPPEN.

As Zanzibarian, I truly believe that Muungano was forced upon Karume and his allies by the political ideology of Mwalimu Nyerere.

His inferiority towards Zanzibar and and fear of loosing the grip on Zanzibar has led him to force this so called marriage.

Why dont mainland Tanzanians stays back with the politics of Ujima na Ujamaa as was forcefully forced upon everyone else and we get our Zanzibar back, and probably will teach you a thing or two about the real governance. Because right now I see Zanzibar loosing its statutory right as a country.

Now Tanzanian Mainland are draining our banks, taking our taxes and invoking their rule of laws.

WE ZANZIBARIANS ARE CAPABLE OF MANAGING OUR COUNTRY, GRACEFULLY. We proved that before, but the jealous of JK and its policy of me, myself and I has led to rapid declining of Zanzibar of Today.

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anonymous 4:19PM
Thanks for being the first visitor on this blog to openly state his/her allegiance to Zanzibar. That's honesty and commendable.

Back to the core issues of the union. I personally, just like you, feel that the union thing is just messed up. I've acknowledged the fact that I commend the Zanzibaris for demanding, and getting (relatively speaking from a mainlanders perspective) their way. You could argue that Zanzibar is being denied the opportunity to run its course, but as Tanganyikan, I honestly feel that Zanzibar is standing on the way.

Well, you can tell that I am not a big fan of Nyerere. So I concur with you on this union thing being a Nyerere's utopian dream.

But the question is this: if the union is so bad for Zanzibar, why did the Mapinduzi government fail to produce the articles of the union? What are they hiding?

Anonymous said...

@ Jaduong.

That is the main obstacle since the Muungano Saga begun in those years. The government of Tanzania led by the old policy of secrecy, embedded in polital thinking of CCM leaders(Tanganyika and Zanzibar alike) still functioning.

I personally would love to see it, and for all public to see. I believe Zanzibar was very much dubbed on this dubious marriage.

Time is running out, I hope the truth will come out soon.

Anonymous said...

In matter of FACT Tanzania mainland should have one as well, why don't you ask them as well.

You need to know, we all need to know the TRUTH, for benefit of the mainland and Zanzibar as a whole.

and if you are talking about the incompetance and corrupt leaders of Zanzibar including the attorney general, that is another matter. He is the one who denied 10 zanazibarians an access to see the union articles.

As the matter of fact he is corrupt as much as the current president.

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anony 5:21 PM
I think we are both getting somewhere...and that is that the union is messed up. I made reference to the denial of access to the articles of the union just to show that it is not the mainland that is blocking Zanzibaris from achieving whatever they want to achieve, but a system that is victimizing both sides.

So when I call for quits, I'm just calling for a way of both societies to chart their own course. If you read my original post, I clearly stated that I applaud Zanzibaris for getting at least one thing they wanted - and that is the retention of their status as a country (though partial). What do mainlanders have? Nothing.

So I am assuming you agree that having regular meetings to "harmonize" the rough edges of the union is just a waste of time. The issues are structural and cultural, that need an open discussion.