‘Future bright for Zanzibar’

ZANZIBAR: President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has assured citizens of a more prosperous 2024, stating Zanzibar is on track to achieve its development goals.

“As we successfully implement our workable development plans, we move towards a better future,” Dr Mwinyi said in his Christmas message, urging people to celebrate while maintaining peace and stability during the festive season and to avoid committing offences.

He emphasised that Zanzibar should remain a peaceful country where every citizen and visitor enjoys religious and social freedom.

He also stressed the importance of drivers seriously observing road safety regulations to prevent accidents.

On a separate occasion, Bishop Augustine Ndeliakyama Shao of the Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Zanzibar, praised both the Union and the Isles for their ongoing work in building the country.

Bishop Shao pointed out that a lot of construction work is taking place in Zanzibar, including hospitals, schools, airports and investments in the blue economy (tourism and other investments), signifying that Zanzibar is moving towards prosperity.

“We should be happy about what the eighth phase revolutionary government of Zanzibar is doing regarding infrastructure development,” Bishop Shao said in his Christmas message to the followers and the public.

However, he advised the government to find ways to address the existing unemployment challenge and rising cost of living in the country.

“Although we are happy with the pace of development, the lack of jobs and rising cost of living remains a burden,” charged Bishop Shao.

He said that many young people who complete secondary school education and higher learning institutions are idle in the streets.

“They should be helped to find jobs and prepared to compete in the free labour market. A person should not be employed solely because they are Tanzanian, but rather based on their qualifications,” he insisted.

Bishop Shao also dismissed recent mainstream and social media reports that the Roman Catholic Church blesses same-sex marriage as false.

“The fact is that the church does not allow such acts but recognises LGBTQ2 individuals as deserving of human rights and also provides a space for repentance.”

He argued that respecting human rights and providing support, such as interaction and counselling, does not mean approving of their actions.

“As Christians, we should not hate, stigmatise, or discriminate against LGBTQ2 individuals or the community, but rather help them to stop engaging in acts that go against religious teachings and culture,” the bishop said.

The bishop also stated that Christ welcomes people who are dishonest, embezzlers of public funds and funds for the poor, corrupt executives, separated families and perpetrators of sexual abuse.

“We should not discriminate against them, but instead help them find the right path.”

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