Mwinyi demands swift solutions to challenges facing investors

ZANZIBAR President Hussein Mwinyi has directed respective authorities in the government to find quick amicable solutions to challenges raised by investors and members of the business community.

Dr Mwinyi said here while chairing the 12th Zanzibar National Business Council (ZNBC) on Sunday that if the challenges were swiftly addressed Zanzibar would become the best place for investment.

“It does not look good to have 5-star hotels and attract visitors including mainly tourists to visit Zanzibar, while we continue having low electricity voltage,” Dr Mwinyi said.

He highlighted other areas mentioned in complaints from investors and other members of the business community as insecurity for tourists in some areas of Zanzibar, sound pollution which inconveniences tourists and substandard goods sold to tourists.

Dr Mwinyi directed that the ZNBC will meet once annually for a forum, but its council meets twice in a year, while each ministry should meet its stakeholders quarterly to discuss concerns from them in the process of finding solutions to the challenges.

“In every annual ZNBC meeting, we should hear about the results or how issues have been resolved. Let us change the way we resolve issues by avoiding speaking about the same problems whenever we meet. Let us be focused to move forward,” he emphasised.

Complaints against taxes payment procedures, unclear format on low wage in the private sector, loose and ineffective collaboration among unions, employers and the government, unreliable power and water supply and Information Communication Technology (ICT) are other challenges in business.

Other issues raised at the forum include delays in issuing resident permits to investors including foreigners, who buy houses at Fumba town development area in Unguja West B District, shortage of foreign currency for local importers, disputes over land and poor communication in public offices.

“Zanzibar Revenue Authority (ZRA), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the Ministry of Finance and Planning and other relevant stakeholders should meet to find solutions to problems raised on taxes and cross boarder barriers,” the president said, directing other public offices to initiate similar dialogues in efforts to find solutions.

The ZNBC Secretary Mr Salmin Rajab mentioned that last meeting participants recommended that some public offices such as Zanzibar Electricity Company (ZECO), Ministry of Agriculture, Zanzibar Water Authority (ZAWA), meet to talk about how to resolve issues emerged over land, construction of infrastructures and employees’ status in Zanzibar Social Security Fund (ZSSF).

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