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IMPROVING OVERSIGHT IN ZANZIBAR


IMPROVING OVERSIGHT OF GOVERNMENTIN ZANZIBAR’S HOUSE OFREPRESENTATIVES


Though still in its early stages, an amendment made to the Standing Orders in 2012 has introduced a new model that is hoped will help improve the oversight function of the Zanzibar House of Representatives over the government, and strengthen the tradition of giving feedback to the House through its standing committees writes its Chief Legal Counsel.


Mr Mussa Kombo Bakari, in Zanzibar City Mr Bakari is the Chief Legal Counsel of the House and Head of the Department of House Business at the House of Representatives of Zanzibar, posts he has held since May 2012. He was previously the Head of the House’s Legal Division and he had served various committees. He has been an advocate of the High Court of Zanzibar since 2005.


Mr Mussa Kombo Background


Zanzibar gained independence from the United Kingdom in December 1963, which lasted for about a month before the revolution took place in January 1964. It was one of the two countries which united to form the United Republic of Tanzania (URT) in 1964. The other country was


194 | The Parliamentarian | 2013: Issue Three


Tanganyika which is now commonly referred to as Tanzania Mainland. Despite that union, Zanzibar which is a combination of the two major islands of Unguja and Pemba still retains its identity and some of its autonomy. The semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar are located on the East African coast and, according to the 2012 census, have a population of about 1.3 million people. It has its own flag, constitution and an Executive headed by a directly elected President and assisted by a Cabinet, the latter of which is commonly referred to as the Revolutionary Council. It also has its own House of Representatives and Judiciary.


Upon unification, the two countries united on a range of matters which were initially 11 but over time, increased to 22. The list of union matters include foreign affairs,


defense and security, citizenship, police, currency, immigration, posts and telecommunications, higher education, home affairs, registration of political parties and the court of appeal.1


The URT is now in the


process of writing a new constitution which might affect the set-up of the union.


The Zanzibar House of Representatives


The House of Representatives is one of the two Legislatures in the URT; the other is the Parliament of the URT (National Assembly). The National Assembly exercises its mandate over union matters and non- union matters for Tanzania Mainland, while the House has the mandate over non-union matters for Zanzibar. The House was initially established in 1980 under the Constitution of


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