Qualifications of the Chairperson of the Board
Article 9(4) of the Constitution of Zanzibar Legal Services Centre, 1992 provides that:
The Trustees shall elect one of them as their Chairperson; provided that such a person must be a holder of a degree from a recognised University.
Therefore, the qualifications of a Chairperson of the Centre is to be a member of the Board of Trustees in accordance with Article 9(1) of the Constitution of the Centre and must be a holder of a degree from a recognised University.
1st Chairperson of the Centre
Prof. Haroub Miraji Othman (1992 – 2009)
The first Chair of Zanzibar Legal Services Centre was Professor Haroub Miraji Othman, a lawyer and advocate of the High Court of Zanzibar who was a Professor of Development Studies at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
It was Professor Othman together with two other lawyers – Fatma Maghimbi; and Hassan Said Mzee who established the Centre in May, 1992. Three years later the two left the Centre due of conflict of interests. Ms. Maghimbi had joined the opposition political party Civic United Front (CUF) and vied for the parliamentary seat of Chake Chake, Pemba which she won comfortably and thus joined the Union Parliament where she rose to become the Leader of Opposition in Parliament. Mzee on the other hand was appointed a member of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC). It is these two events which led to the departure of the two initial members from the Board of Trustees of the Centre.
Professor Othman was a prolific writer on human rights and political issues. During his tenure as Chair, he wrote and edited many book and scholarly articles. Among them is the famous book titled: Zanzibar and the Union Question (Edited with Chris Maina Peter) and published by the Zanzibar Legal Services Centre in 2006. Professor Othman passed on in 2009.
2nd and Current Chairperson
Prof. Chris Maina Peter (2009 – to date)
Chris Maina Peter, the current Chair of the Board of Trustees of Zanzibar Legal Services Centre (ZLSC) is a Professor of Law Emeritus at the School of Law of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He holds LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and a doctorate from the University of Konstanz, Germany. He has served as a member of the United Nations Committee on Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, Geneva (CERD), Switzerland (2008-2012) and as a member of the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC), Geneva, Switzerland (2012-2022).
He is a Consultant to a number of institutions nationally and internationally. Professor Peter has written and edited several books and articles in scholarly journals. Among his publication is a book on his predecessor titled: Haroub Othman – Farewell to the Chairman (Compiled and edited with Saida Yahya-Othman in 2009).