11 March 2018

Tanzania: Zanzibar's Case Against Union Quashed

A case challenging the legality of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar has been struck out by the East African Court of Justice (EACJ).

The First Instance Division of the regional Court on Thursday, March 8, struck out an application filed by one Rashid Salum Adiy and 39,999 other Zanzibar citizens.

In their main reference, the applicants wanted a judicial determination of the legality, legitimacy and continuity of the 1964 union between Tanganyika and the Isles.

In the same vein, they wanted nullification of the Union between the Republic of Tanganyika and the People's Republic of Zanzibar and restoration of the sovereignty of the State of Zanzibar.

In a strange twist even before formal hearing of the case, the 40,000 Zanzibaris wanted the Court to shift its base from Arusha to Zanzibar and hear the application from there.

The lead applicant (Rashid Salum Adiy), who appeared in person with few other applicants, attempted to use Swahili language in Court knowing too well English is the official language of the East African Community (EAC).

He had earlier filed with the Court a notice of appointment of an agent which the Court rejected because it was not supported by the valid Power of the Attorney.

But Lady Justice Monica Mugenyi ruled out the application, citing unprofessional manner "in which the applicants have approached so serious the matter".

She said the applicants purported to file a notice of appointment of an agent while knowing that it was premised on unregistered and, therefore, defective Power of Attorney.

"We find this not to be only waste of the Court's time and occasioning undue delay of the hearing of the matter but also find it to be abuse of the Court's process", Lady Justice Mugenyi said.

She dismissed the application with no costs.


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