THE Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi has affirmed that there’s no constitutional conflict between the supreme law of the Union Government and that of Zanzibar.
The minister made this clarification in Parliament yesterday in response to claims by MP for Wingwi Juma Kombo Hamad (CUF) that there was a serious constitutional crisis between the two mother laws.
He added that those constitutional conflicts had led to increased challenges facing the union, and asked the government to bring into Parliament the proposed Constitutional amendments. “There’s no serious conflict … facing power sharing between the two governments,” Prof Kabudi stressed.
“The union government has put in place special procedures for how to go about in translating and implementing it, which is still debatable. So far, no government between the two has had a different translation on the Constitution of the union government or its implementation.
“Since there is no Constitutional conflict, the government sees no reason to bring proposed amendments of the Constitution,” he declared, in relation to the presidential powers between the two sides. Prof Kabudi said the Union president has powers relating union matters, and he’s the only Commander- in-Chief, and that the Isles president was the head of the Zanzibar as a country, and that he had powers on matters that weren’t under the union.
He also explained over membership of the country to the East African Community (EAC) in particular, saying the Union Government was mandated to represent the country in the bloc – and that matters coming out of the regional bloc were always brought for discussion between the Union government and Zanzibar, he noted.
Meanwhile, Special Seats MP Najma Giga has appealed to the government to bring to National Assembly the challenges facing the Union as they arise, so they could be discussed and resolved in time. The deputy minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Union and Environment Affairs), Mr Kangi Lugola, supported the idea of bringing the report to the Parliament for debating. However, he said, the VP’s Office should ‘always inform’ Parliament on the meetings.
“Let me inform this Parliament that the government has never hesitated to (openly) inform the public over challenges facing the union,” he said.
He dismissed claims that people in Zanzibar were not involved on international issues, explaining that the Isles government was always engaged in global negotiations.
“The Zanzibar government has always taken part in the international conferences and organisations,” he told the House, adding that all leaders of international bodies who came to Tanzania also went to Zanzibar for talks with Zanzibar President Mohammed Shein.
Among others, they included directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), FAO and UNAIDS