EID-AL-ADHA CELEBRATION: Mwinyi urges Zanzibaris to embrace peace, unity

ZANZIBAR: AS Muslims globally celebrate Eid-al-Adha, Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi has called on Zanzibaris to uphold peace, stability and unity Dr Mwinyi said peace, stability and unity have been emphasised in teachings from Muslims pilgrimage.

Speaking at the Eidbaraza (a special VIP gathering to celebrate Eid) at Maziwang’ombe coastal village in the economic zone of Micheweni in North Pemba, Dr Mwinyi also urged people here to embody the values of obedience, charity, sacrifice and belief in daily lives.

“As we celebrate this festival, let us commit to maintain peace, stability and unity,” Dr Mwinyi said, adding “Zanzibar remains peaceful due to the foundations of good leadership laid by the leaders of all the previous phases of our country and that each of us has a responsibility to maintain peace that we have.”

“We must ensure that no one becomes the source of disruption or breach of peace in our country on the pretext of religious, political and other movements,” he said in his speech.

He added, “Let us develop and enhance the reputation of our country as a peaceful country by avoiding conflicts that are not beneficial.”

He said that with peace and stability in place, people are able to perform their various rituals freely as well as to carry out various development activities without fear.

Flanked by several dignitaries Dr Mwinyi advised all citizens to use this holiday by doing good things to show happiness and gratitude to Allah (God) for protecting them.

“Among the good things to implement is that of slaughtering (livestock) an animal for the use of our families and giving a portion to our friends in need, orphans and the poor,” Dr Mwinyi told the gathering.

He instructed the Police Force in collaboration with other members of the security and defence committees at district and regional levels to remain alert on ensuring security in all areas, and safe use of roads during the Eid celebration.

President Mwinyi used the occasion to express the government’s commitment to continue bringing development to the people.

He said the government is implementing many development projects in both Unguja and Pemba, citing education sector, where the government is construction new storey buildings and teachers’ housing as well as expanding road network infrastructures.

“Soon the construction of a vocational training centre will start at Tumbe village and also the construction of a hostel at the Islamic College in Micheweni.

We are also committed to rehabilitate and improve all feeder roads and the construction of seaport of Shumba in Pemba.

I urge you to continue showing support to the government so that the projects are successful.” Hajj (pilgrimage), is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and Muslims travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the religious gathering.

It is one of the largest mass gatherings in the world and it is estimated that more than 1.8 million pilgrims are taking part in the pilgrimage this year.

Dr Mwinyi mentioned that a total of 2,087 pilgrims out of 3,300 Tanzanians are from Zanzibar, “We thank God that the number of pilgrims from Zanzibar this year has increased compared to the number of pilgrims who made the pilgrimage last year.”

He commended the Zanzibar Waqfu and Trust Commission for collaborating with other institutions to organise the travel for the pilgrimage “It is my expectation that the number of pilgrims from Zanzibar and Tanzania in general will continue to increase annually in future.”

He revealed that an agreement has already been reached between Zanzibar and the government of Saudi Arabia to have two separate bank accounts for Hajj (pilgrimage) activities, previously there was a joint account for Tanzanians, creating inconvenience.

“We have also received a confirmation from the Saudi Arabian Airlines that next year, it will start direct flights to Zanzibar’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA), a new development that will simplify the journey for those planning to travel in future,” Dr Mwinyi explained.

The president further said that the government is supporting the implementation reforms of the Waqfu and Trust Commission which include Hajj Fund (to enable Muslims without enough money, to make pilgrimage), the management of Zakka (Obligatory donation from wealthy Muslims) funds, and coordination of Baytul Maal (institutional charity), umrah and visits to historical places related to the development of Islam.

Dignitaries who attended the Eid Baraza were Zanzibar First Lady Maryam Mwinyi, First Vice-President Othman Masoud Othman Sharif, Second Vice-President Hemed Suleiman Abdulla and Speaker of House of Representatives Zubeir Ali Maulid.

Others include the Chief Kadhi Hassan Othman Ngwali, Chief Secretary Eng Zena Ahmed Said and Ministers led by the event host Minister of State- Office of the President (Constitution, Legal Affairs, Public Service and Good Governance) Mr Haroun Ali Suleiman.

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