Zanzibar Electoral Commission

Updated August 2010

Article 119 of the 1984 Constitution of Zanzibar and the Election Act of 1984 make provision for the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) responsible for conducting Zanzibari presidential and parliamentary elections (Constitution 1984, Articles 119-120; Election Act 1984, 4-10). Local government elections in Zanzibar are conducted by the National Electoral Commission of Tanzania. According to Grant Masterson (2009, 524), "The ZEC was formed in 1993 after revisions to the Zanzibar Constitution of 1984 (Revised Act 5 of 1992) created the legal structures for the body".


Article 119(1) of the Constitution stipulates that the president of Zanzibar has the power to appoint the Chairperson of the Commission and other members of the Commission as specified by the Act of the House of Representatives.

The Composition of the New Commission in 2004, as per the 8th and 9th Constitutional amendments, is as follows:

  • The Chairman who is a Judge in the High Court of any Commonwealth Country or a respected person in society.
  • Two Commissioners appointed by the President, with the recommendation of the leader of government activities in the House of Representatives. The leader of government activities is the Zanzibar Chief Minister.
  • Two Commissioners appointed by the President with the recommendation of the leader of the opposition in the House of Representatives.
  • One Commissioner from among the Judges of the High Court or Court of appeal.
  • One Commissioner appointed by the President as he sees fit.

The members of the ZEC may only be removed if a Special Commission, appointed by the President, recommends a commissioner's removal, and then only if the commissioner is unable to perform the functions allocated or for misconduct (Constitution 1984, Article 119(5)-(8)).

Term of Office

The term of office is 5 years (Constitution 1984, Article 119(4)(a)).


  • Khatib MK Mwinyichande: Chairperson
  • Nassor Khamis
  • Mwanabaraka Maalim: Commissioner
  • Omar O Makungu: Commissioner
  • Ayoub Bakari Hamad: Commissioner
  • Said Bakari Jecha: Commissioner
  • Abrahman Rashid

Director of Elections

The Director of Elections assists the ZEC in the planning and execution of its policies (Constitution 1984, Article 119(9); Election Act 1984, 7). The current Director is Salum K Ali.


The ZEC is not obliged to take instructions from any external body (Constitution 1984, 119(13)).


Ministry of Territorial Administration

Cost of elections

See Cost of elections


The ZEC has produced a report on each election conducted between 1995 and 2005, and instance of which is the 2006 Report for the Zanzibar General Election of Year 2005, [www] [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 1 Sep 2010).

Official website

Zanzibar Electoral Commission: [www] [opens new window] (accessed 2 Aug 2010).


CONSTITUTION OF ZANZIBAR 1984, came into effect on January 12, 1985, includes amendments up to 2002 (see also 2010 Constitutional referendum results), [www] [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 12 Nov 2010).

ELECTION ACT 1984, includes all amendments up to 2004, [www] [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 12 Nov 2010).

MASTERSON, G 2009 "Chapter 13: Tanzania and Zanzibar" IN Denis Kadima and Susan Booysen (eds) Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa 1989-2009: 20 Years of Multiparty Democracy, EISA, Johannesburg.