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Tanzania -- Government

Julius Nyerere 1964-85; Ndugu Ali Hassan Mwinyi 1985-95; and Benjamin William Mkapa from 1995 to the present.

Prime Ministers
Rashid M. Kawawa 1964-77; Edward M. Sokoine, 1977-80; Cleopa D. Msuya, 1980-83; Edward M. Sokoine, 1983-84; Salim A. Salim, 84-88; Joseph S. Warioba, 88-90; John Malecela, 90-94; Cleopa Msuya, 94-95; and Frederick Sumaye, from 1995 to the present.

Chief Justice
The Chief Justice heads the judicial branch of the government. Appointed by the president, he consults with the president concerning the appointment of associate judges to Tanzania's High Court. He also serves as an appointed member of the Judicial Service Commission. He has the constitutional power to declare Tanzanian presidents unable to discharge their duties and certifies their resignations if they decide to leave office before the end of their five-year terms.

Executive Branch
After independence, the government adopted a parliamentary system modeled on that of Britain. It established a permanent civil service which is to see to the formulation and implementation of political policy. In 1962, Nyerere began the process of "Africanizing" the civil service. The same year, Tanganyika changed from a parliamentary to a presidential system of government . After he was elected president, Nyerere appointed a presidential commission (in 1964) to investigate the formation of a one-party state in Tanganyika. The commission's report led to the adoption in 1965 of the Interim Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania. In 1977, the TANU party[*] of the mainland and the ASP party [**] of Zanzibar merged to form the CCM[***], and the Permanent Constitution replaced the Interim Constitution. The Permanent Constitution reaffirmed single-party rule and allowed Zanzibar to elect representatives to the National Assembly. Real legislative and executive authority, however, was concentrated in the CCM Central Committee, which exercised power through a cabinet of more than 20 ministerial posts and through its own executive and working committees. In 1992, the government amended the Permanent Constitution to bring about a multi-party system. More than a dozen new parties have been registered, but none of them constitutes a real challenge to the political power of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

Political Parties
Tanzania's largest political party is the Chamber Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), established in February 1977 when the Tanganyika African National Union -TANU- , the mainland party, merged with the Afro-Shirazi Party of Zanzibar. The party's chairman is Benjamin Mkapa. Other parties include the Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), founded in 1993 under the leadership of Edwin Im Mtei; the Civic United Front-Chama Cha Wananchi (CUF-CCW), founded in 1992 with James K Mapalala as leader); the National Convention for Construction and Reform- Mageuzi Party (NCCR-Mageuzi); the National Reconstruction Alliance (NRA); the National League for Democracy (NLD); the Tanzania Democratic Alliance Party (TADEA); the Tanzania People's Party (TPP); the United Democratic Party (UDP; the Popular National Alliance; the United People's Democratic Party (UPDP); and the Union for Multi-Party Democracy.

[*] Tanganyika African National Union (TANU).[**] Afro-Shirazi Party.[***] Chama Cha Mapinduzi

Legal System
Tanzania's legal system reflects the historical forces that have shaped its culture. Traditional law developed over many centuries. Islamic law gradually became influential with increasing contact from the north, and combined with traditional law, until the arrival of European colonization in the late nineteenth century. First, German Imperial law was overlaid on the existing synthesis of customary and Islamic law. When Germany was defeated in World War I, and the British gained rule over Tanganyika, British law was introduced. Tanzania's current legal system developed from these influences. Further changes were introduced as a result of Nyerere's reforms. Two distinct systems of law have developed in Tanzania, reflecting the cultural differences between the mainland and the islands. The mainland has three court systems: the primary courts, the district courts, and the High court. The primary courts interpret the law at a local level. Appeals of decisions by the primary court are made first to the district level. Final appeals are made to the High Court, which has supervisory and review powers over all lower courts. High court judges include the Chief Justice of Tanzania and at least eight puisne judges, all of whom are appointed by the president. Until 1977, still higher appeal in nonconstitutional matters of general publicimportance could be made to the Court of Appeal for East Africa, which dated from colonial rule and had been incorporated into the East African Community (EACH) in 1967. The judiciary is granted jurisdiction by the National Assembly but is constitutionally protected from undue legislative influence in the performance of its duties. In order to preserve the independence of the court system, the Permanent Commission of Inquiry (established in 1965 with the duty of investigating misconduct or abuse of power among office holders or government employees) was set up without the right to review judicial decisions.Jury trials have not played a role in Tanzania's judicial procedure. An assessor presents a case to the primary or district court. A Director of Public Prosecutions was responsible for presenting the government's case. Civil cases were handled according to the pattern developed by the British for their colonies. In 1974, President Nyerere appointed a Judicial Review Commission to reexamine Tanzania's legal system and to assess the compatibility of the current legal system with Tanzania's historical experience in precolonial, colonial and socialist eras.

The legal systems of Tanganyika and Zanzibar have tended to diverge rather than converge in the last decades. The High Court of the United Republic, established to supervise the entire country, mainly represented Tanganyika. Zanzibar's primary and district courts were abolished in 1968 and replaced by a People's Court, which has jurisdiction over all criminal matters except murder, attempted murder, and manslaughter. A High Court of Zanzibar was also established at this time. The highest judicial body was the Supreme Council, established in 1970. In 1985, Zanzibar's courts were integrated into the mainland's legal system. However, Islamic courts continue to hear cases concerning marriage, divorce, inheritance, and child custody concerning Zanzibari Muslims. In remote rural areas, legal infractions are mainly handled according to ethnic customs and traditions. In personal and community disputes, local people generally avoid police and courts, preferring to resolve matters according to custom.

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