The Union and the Zanzibar Statehood Question

  • Richard Mbunda University of Dar es Salaam

Abstract

The union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar and the statehood of the latter have been matters of serious contestation between the “attentive public” from Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania. The case of S.M.Z v. Machano Khamis Ali and 17 Others in Zanzibar, who were charged for treason under section 26 of the Penal Decree (cap.13) of Zanzibar, set the debate in motion. The Court of Appeal of Tanzania justified the jurisdiction of the High Court of Zanzibar over treason cases but in the process the statehood and sovereignty of Zanzibar were denounced. The Court of Appeal’s verdict on the statehood of Zanzibar is disputed by Shivji (2006) who reached a conclusion that in the current form of the union, Zanzibar is a state and is sovereign. In this article, a “realpolitik” perspective of statehood and sovereignty in international politics is advanced to provide a critique to Shivji’s position.

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Published
2017-02-22