Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) wants the 10th amendment of the Zanzibar Constitution reviewed, particularly those areas that have been criticised for reportedly undermining the supremacy of the Union Constitution. The current union system is perceived to be weak because the Constitution has been belittled, the party argues in its push for rejection of the proposed three-government system and retention of the status quo.
A document purported to have been drawn at the end of a meeting of CCM’s top leadership earlier in the month notes also that the 10th amendment of the Zanzibar Constitution fuelled resentment of the current union system because the changes undermine the Union Constitution.
The document, dubbed Circular Number 3 on the Draft Constitution from the Political and International Relations Department, notes that the Union Constitution should be respected by both parties in order to address the illegality.
The document, disowned by CCM Ideology and Publicity Secretary Nape Nnauye despite other sources having confirmed that it was prepared by the party, says a three-government arrangement will not solve the problems. “We don’t believe that the number of governments will be a panacea for union problems in the absence of a sustainable system of respecting the Constitution,” the document says. “Failing to respect the Mother Law will definitely undermine a union of any kind, be it of two governments or three.”
CCM wants the new Constitution to explicitly state that the Union Constitution will be supreme and prevail if a partner’s constitution is in conflict with the Union Constitution.
CCM also wants the new constitution to categorically state that Union partners will amend their major laws to reflect the needs and requirements of the supreme Union law.
In order to avoid controversies in future, CCM proposes that the new constitution create a special constitutional court that will be mandated to hear and determine all matters regarding the constitution. “The powers of such a court should be extended to enable it deal with all challenges bearing constitutional or legal conflicts,” says another section of the document. “For instance, a conflict resulting from Zanzibar’s move to form armed security forces could be solved through this court.”
Meanwhile, the document insists on the number of proposals by the ruling party that were not included in the second Draft Constitution, one area being arrangement of the articles of the constitution in order to give it a good outline. “Articles 52, 53, 54 and 55, which in the former draft were numbered 50, 51, 52 and 53 respectively, refer to a lot of issues on human rights,” the document adds. “It was proposed that these articles be summarised and shifted to Part Four of the Draft Constitution, which deals with human rights.”