Sunday, 22 October 2017

 

The political situation in Zanzibar, where currently the Government of National Unity (GNU) is in power, is now calm after a decade of arm-twisting among politicians.
After the introduction of plural politics, the Zanzibar political and social situation was apprehensive. The ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party and the opposition Civil United Front (CUF) party were wrestling for many grounds, generally caused by uncoordinated opposing political ideologies.
After the 2010 General elections, the GNU came to power things are now moving in the isles. A random survey of ordinary Zanzibar citizens shows that the majority of them are happy with the new political arrangement.


However, despite this notable political progress, civil society organizations (including ZATUC), the people and even some of the politicians, still want more reforms of the governance system in Zanzibar to support the good cause of the GNU.
Their wish is to see more participation of the people in governance after taking part in creating the GNU. In other words, they need reforms and implementation of the Government institutions and local governments in Zanzibar.


Zanzibar trade union congress took this issue seriously and insisting repeatedly during the forums organized here in Zanzibar that the dialogues and participation of the Trade Unions, CSOs and citizens in the implementation of the institutional and local government reforms in Zanzibar is necessary to meet the aim of GNU. Secondly, we claim for a space to actively and directly involve ourselves in the implementation of the same to observe the terms of delivery of social justice and development.
Trade Unions are generally advocacy groups to amplify the voices and interests of the workers and public, mostly the so-called marginalized populations. We also play a watch-dog role in the performance of the government while at the same time empowering the voiceless workers to fight toward their rights.
Because, the involvement of workers and the people in Zanzibar in decision making is not a privilege; rather, it is the statutory and constitutional obligation under both national and international laws.

The political situation in Zanzibar, where currently the Government of National Unity (GNU) is in power, is now calm after a decade of arm-twisting among politicians.

After the introduction of plural politics, the Zanzibar political and social situation was apprehensive. The ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party and the opposition Civil United Front (CUF) party were wrestling for many grounds, generally caused by uncoordinated opposing political ideologies.

After the 2010 General elections, the GNU came to power things are now moving in the isles. A random survey of ordinary Zanzibar citizens shows that the majority of them are happy with the new political arrangement.

However, despite this notable political progress, civil society organizations (including ZATUC), the people and even some of the politicians, still want more reforms of the governance system in Zanzibar to support the good cause of the GNU.

Their wish is to see more participation of the people in governance after taking part in creating the GNU. In other words, they need reforms and implementation of the Government institutions and local governments in Zanzibar.

Zanzibar trade union congress took this issue seriously and insisting repeatedly during the forums organized here in Zanzibar that the dialogues and participation of the Trade Unions, CSOs and citizens in the implementation of the institutional and local government reforms in Zanzibar is necessary to meet the aim of GNU. Secondly, we claim for a space to actively and directly involve ourselves in the implementation of the same to observe the terms of delivery of social justice and development.

Trade Unions are generally advocacy groups to amplify the voices and interests of the workers and public, mostly the so-called marginalized populations. We also play a watch-dog role in the performance of the government while at the same time empowering the voiceless workers to fight toward their rights.

Because, the involvement of workers and the people in Zanzibar in decision making is not a privilege; rather, it is the statutory and constitutional obligation under both national and international laws.

Agriculture contributes over 60% of GDP and provides employment for about 80% of labour force. Until recently, Zanzibar had a typical mono- crop economy relying on cloves for most of its export. However the collapse of price of this major cash crop in the early eighties has almost been synonymous to the loss of economic fortunes of the isles as cloves used to be the main foreign exchange earnings. Radical reforms and the liberalisation of the economy were initiated in the 1980’s in all sectors with important improvement in tourism’s, transport and commerce in particular. The establishment of export processing zone and Zanzibar Investment Promotion Agency facilitated the increase in foreign investment, creations of employment opportunities and increased in earnings. Nevertheless the annual growth rate of the GDP has increased from 3.4% in 2001 to 6.3% in 2009. However the growth has not yet been sufficient to make any significant impact on the standard of living of the majority of the people.


Inspite of attractive economic policy, which has attracted a number of foreign investors, provision of social services, has mainly remains on the hands of government. Private investment in social services and industries has been very minimal As in most African countries, the social sector in Zanzibar has been affected adversely. The resources for the provision of social services have gradually declines in real terms, resulting in the deterioration of the quality public service delivery.

 

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