Regional think-tank Kituo cha Katiba has recommended reintroduction of a government of national unity to deal in Tanzania with its persistent political and post-election crises.
The Kampala-based lobby which sent a fact-finding mission to the isles to find a solution to the Zanzibar problem has also recommended dialogue between the Civic United Front (CUF) and the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and other political stakeholders, constitutional amendments and electoral reforms, among other measures, well before the 2020 elections.
"In the mission's judgement, the absence of the Government of National Unity as prescribed in the Constitution is a serious detraction from a well-considered homegrown solution to the endemic electoral violence in a society riven in the middle on account of its racial, class, social and political attributes," the mission's report says.
"The mission is of the strong opinion that the crisis may escalate to unprecedented levels come 2020, given Zanzibar's history of violent elections. It is best that a solution (is found) long before then," adds the report titled Peace and Unity in the Isles: Prospects of a Government of National Unity in Zanzibar.
Zanzibar is faced with serious governance and constitutional issues and Kituo cha Katiba says the previous GNU, formed in 2010 to bring together the two contending parties CCM and CUF, was the last of attempts at home-grown political settlements (Miafaka).
Sharp political differences have re-emerged and are evident in the day-to-day lives of ordinary Zanzibaris.
The situation is exacerbated by a poorly performing economy characterised by high levels of poverty and unemployment, against the background of a history of violent, controversial and hotly contested elections since colonialism and an incomplete constitutional review for the whole of Tanzania, at the root of which is the Union.
Zanzibar has had three attempts at reconciliation, Muafaka I, II and III , which sought to address the post-election violence and disharmony between the government and opposition.
After the 2015/16 post-election political developments, Kituo cha Katiba sent a fact-finding mission to Zanzibar from late 2017 through to early 2018.
The team comprised of Frederick Jjuuko and Sabiti Makara from Uganda, Florence Jaoko of Kenya, and Edith Kibalama, the Kituo cha Katiba executive director.
The mission received views on the Union and the impact of the stalled constitutional review.