International Law examination of the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar: a federal or unitary state

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University of Dar es Salaam
This dissertation investigates the processes that led to Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, the nature of the Union in International Law and its problems. Essentially the study seeks to resolve the whether a Unitary State or a federal state was envisaged. Adoption of one view leads to a given structure of the Union State. Protagonists of each view had their day in the so-called constitutional debate of 1983 to 1984. The political result was the dominance of the unitarists. Yet the truth seems to be otherwise. An academic endeavor seems to be in order. Methodologically an investigation is made on the Article of the Union of 1964 which indicate a federal structure. This interpretation is supported by a rich historical background, and consequent legal instruments such as the Constitutions of the United Republic and that of Zanzibar. A further exposition of the elements of the debate and the merit of arguments advanced by adversaries is made. The resultant analysis points to the legitimacy and justification of the federalist perspective. The general argument advanced in the dissertation is that federalism in the context of this union is the more democratic arrangement. This accords at the level of International Law with the principle of the right of nations to self-determination. It would thus operate to safeguard the Union by having clear-cut constituents without the confusion created by overlapping jurisdiction. This would mean the existence of the Union Government, that of Tanganyika and that of Zanzibar. Subsuming under the Union Government creates confusion and subtly threatens the autonomy of Zanzibar. The resultant reaction of the Zanzibar government is to assert its position by passing certain legislative Acts such as the Zanzibar Act (defining who is a Zanzibar) which tends to diminish the effectiveness of the Union by disadvantaging Tanganyikans in relation to Zanzibar. The Union Government cannot pass an act defining who is a Tanganyikan without reducing the Union to an absurdity. But this state of affairs would definitely be otherwise if a federal structure was in existence. It is the final submission of this dissertation that a stronger Union can still be build on a federal premise upholding the principle of equality within the Union. The structure of the study executes the above by defining the problem an concepts of Union of states in Chapter One. Then in Chapter Two it deals with the political history of Tanzania. In Chapter Three the Union itself is studied, and Chapter Four is an recapitulates the general arguments of the dissertation and offers concluding remarks.
Available in print form
Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, Tanzania, Constitution
Kabudi, P.J.A.M (1986) International Law examination of the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar: a federal or unitary state, Masters dissertation,University of Dar es Salaam.Available at ( )