INTRODUCTION Tanzania has ended a week of celebrations marking the 13th anniversary of Union Day with a new constitution that brings the island of Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania even closer together.
INTRODUCTION Tanzania has ended a week of celebrations marking the 13th anniversary of Union Day with a new constitution that brings the island of Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania even closer together. The climax of the celebrations was on Union Day itself, on Tuesday (26 April), with a military parade reviewed by President Julius Nyerere.
SYNOPSIS: Prime Minister Edward Sokoine joined the rest of the government at the parade, marking the day in 1964 that Zanzibar island joined what was then Tanganyika to form Tanzania. Under the old union agreement, Zanzibar's leader has traditionally been first Vice President. Sheikh Aboued Jumbe currently holds the post, and under the new constitution the traditions is now formalised. If the president comes from either part of the union, the first Vice President will come from the other. In addition, the people of Zanzibar will now directly elect representatives to parliament.
President Julius Nyerere, introducing the new constitution to parliament before going on to review the Union Day parade in Dar es-Salaam, the capital, compared the old constitution to 'a dress which had become too small for the wearer'. It was time for a bigger and newer dress, he said.
The new constitution also makes the country's only political organisation, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi Revolutionary party, the supreme ruling organ over the government. President Nyerere said it was a reflection of the understanding and mutual confidence which had grown up in the country over the past 13 years.
On a more sober note while presenting the constitution to Parliament, President Nyerere spoke about the disintegration of the East African Community linking Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. It was a matter for shame, not pride, he said. He also warned that several projects listed in Tanzania's five year development plan, which started last year, would have to be postponed to re-channel national resources. This was because of the collapse in the Community's common institutions like the railways, transport, and harbour services. Tanzania would now have to build up all these essential services itself, he said.
Pride of place in the parade went to the Young Pioneers, one of President Nyerere's special interests.