Fifty Years of the Union: the Relevance of Religion in the Union and Zanzibar Statehood Debate
AbstractOn 26 April 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Though with many challenges, this Union has survived for a period of 50 years and remains the only one in Africa. Yet, one of the challenges facing the Union is the fact that, of recent, some groups and individuals in Zanzibar have labelled it as a barrier towards their statehood and the quest to join the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation and other international organisations. Using UAMSHO public lectures in Zanzibar and other evidence from literature, this article asserts that religion plays a very significant role to unite Zanzibaris against the perceived injustices, immoralities and economic marginalisation that the Union has allegedly inflicted on Zanzibar. For the Union to survive the current challenges there is a need to open it up for public debate to address all issues that confront it.
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