Union Affairs: citizens' views on recent developments in Zanzibar

Zanzibar was a hotbed of activity during and after the October 2015 general election. Election results were annulled, with the Chairman of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission citing “violations of electoral law.” A re-election was set for March 2016. These decisions outraged the opposition and raised very serious concerns among members of the international community. Opposition leaders and supporters boycotted the re-election in protest. The result was the Chama Cha Mapinduzi incumbent, President Ali Mohamed Shein, winning the re-election easily.

Despite these dramatic twists and turns, more than half of citizens on the Mainland (53%) report that they do not know what has happened in Zanzibar since the October elections. On the other hand 4 out of 10 citizens are aware that a re-election took place on 20 March 2016 (43%) and that the October election results were annulled (39%). The main message is that some Mainland citizens have some ideas about the events that took place (annulment and re-election) but most are not clear on what has been happening in the islands.

These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled Union Affairs: citizens’ views on recent developments in Zanzibar. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey. The findings are based on data collected from 1,815 respondents across Mainland Tanzania (Zanzibar is not covered in these results) between 29 March and 12 April 2016.

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Authors: John Mugo



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