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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


 Zanzibar ‘Revolution’ At 60: Is There Anything to Celebrate?


On 12th January 2024, the so called “revolution” of Zanzibar reached sixty years since it’s happening in 12th of January in 1964. After so many years, the important question remains: Is it worth it to celebrate, apart from the politicians and the few families among the “revolutionary team”, do ordinary people have something worth to celebrate!?


According to the government, in 2022, the business in Zanzibar was worth Sh1.4 trillion, compared to Sh913.1 billion in 2020, which is a 57.6 percent increase. Zanzibar has exported products worth Sh180.4 billion in 2022, compared to Sh65.7 billion in 2020, an increase of 174.7 percent. Also, in terms of its main cash crop, Zanzibar has exported 6,452.8 tonnes of cloves worth Sh118.3 billion in 2022 compared to 3,506.8 tonnes exported in 2020, valued at Sh38.37 billion, an increase of 208.1 percent.

Though the government is trying to make people believe that there are positive changes and success in these sixty years, in reality the situation is contrary and in the real sense is worst. According to World Bank report on Zanzibar Poverty Assessment 2022, Zanzibar witnessed a significant growth in the Gross National Product (GDP) per capita between 2009 and 2019, but that particular growth did not increase household consumption, which means the economic growth does not reflect on majority lives and so many people are still under extreme poverty despite useless economic growth data.

Muslims bloodshed in the name of revolution resulted into deaths of more than 17,000 Muslims in Zanzibar, state confiscation of wealth including lands and thousands fled to Oman and other nations including European countries especially Britain. The massacre pushed by Britain as a means of the later union between the archipelago and Tanganyika on 26 April 1964 just three months after the massacre was apart of British attempt to maintain her influence in East Africa after flag independence. The wounds of this massacre and the seed of racism among the Muslims of Zanzibar is among the unforgettable aftermath of this revolution. After all this, do we have something worth to celebrate!?

As far as true revolution is concerned, it must be ideological with the aim of removing worse ideology and replace it with a better one. The capitalist ideology is the one which is to be removed worldwide and replaced by Islam as a complete and comprehensive ideology with solutions for every human problem, needs to be implemented under the shade of its global Islamic Caliphate.

The Muslim Ummah has a responsibility and obligation to imitate our leader the Prophet (saw) how he brought about radical ideological change by carrying a strong Islamic thought from the Creator that produced an independent state with solutions to all human problems.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Said Bitomwa
Member of the Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Tanzania

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