Nicodemus Minde is a PhD student in international relations at the United States International University–Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi, Kenya. He previously worked as an advisor at International Law and Policy (ILPI) Centre for African Studies, Norway. He holds a MA and BA in international relations from USIU-Africa. His doctoral research examines the influence of one-party dominance in African democracies with a specific focus on the challenge of democratizing the Tanganyika-Zanzibar Union under a one-party dominance system. Minde’s areas of interest include the political history of Tanzania, international law, foreign policy analysis and peace and conflict studies. Minde, a Tanzanian national, has conducted research on the reconciliation process in Zanzibar, the ICC and Africa, and peacebuilding and state-building in rentier economies of the global South. He is also a 2013 African Peacebuilding Network (APN) alumnus.
The political Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar (the Union) remains a unique Pan-African construct. Unlike other political unions in Africa (Ethiopia-Eritrea Federation 1952-1962; Senegambia Confederation 1982-1989; which didn't last, the Union has now existed or over fifty years. Similar unification attempts in post-independent Africa have in the past been challenged. Conjunctive irredentism and identity issues have been identified as some of the reasons for these fallouts. The Union in Tanzania has for five decades withstood challenges and microcosms of discontent between the two Union entities. Constitutional and political reforms aimed at addressing these discontents have yielded little success. Despite the Union being a national pride and symbol, issues of Zanzibar's waning sovereignty and pronounced identities within the Union framework have been a recurring feature. Tanzania has been ruled by one single party since the inception of the Union in 1964. Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party is a merger of Tanganyika's independence party TANU and Zanzibar's revolutionary party the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP). CCM has continuously championed the course of the Union through a two-government format (Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar). Democratization efforts in Africa in the late 1980s coincided with demands for a redress of the constitutional structure of the Union especially from the opposition (mainly in Zanzibar) who argued for a three-government structure. Dominant literature on the Union has inadequately captured the contextual interests and differing political parties' positions in the Union. This study seeks to examine constitutional efforts that were aimed at redressing the dissatisfactions of the Union by situating the positions of political parties both in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar through an extensive fieldwork in the cities of Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Zanzibar.