The United Republic of Tanzania’s decision to seek an extension of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) has sparked a hot debate in the Zanzibar House of Representatives, with Zanzibaris threatening to withdraw from the deal. Debating a private motion tabled by CUF Representative for Mji Mkongwe Ismail Jussa, the lawmakers demanded the resignation of a minister who had allegedly taken part in formulating the application, which had already been tabled before the UN.
According to the Citizen: ‘They bayed for the blood of Mr Ali Juma Shamuhuna, the Zanzibar Minister for Energy, accusing him of betray¬ing Zanzibaris by helping to prepare the application.’ Mr Jussa argued in the House of Representatives that marine and oil issues should be the preserve of Zanzibar and that the Union government had no business making the application. In addition, backbenchers led by Mr Jussa demanded that the Zanzibar government send a delegation to the UN if the Union government ignored their plea.
Tanzania’s Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Prof Anna Tibaijuka, recently led a delegation to the UN to present a request for the extension of the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS), which lies 150 miles beyond the current 200 miles of the EEZ – The Citizen.