Mwinyi orders strict use of Kiswahili in government

ZANZIBAR President Hussein Mwinyi has directed Ministries and public institutions in the Isles to implement directive of using Kiswahili in meetings, forums, seminars, workshops and in documents writing to promote the language.

“Kiswahili should also be used in policies, laws and regulations, agreements, naming streets, roads, banners, logos, and others,” Dr Mwinyi said in his speech, when he graced the opening of 6th Kiswahili International Forum held at the House of Representatives Building at Wete, North Pemba.

He also emphasised to journalists, editors, and media on proper use of formal Kiswahili and avoid mixing it with English, adding  that weakens the language and confuses people in understanding Kiswahili, which has been declared by the UNESCO as one of the international languages celebrated annually on every July 7th.

“Higher learning institutions and universities should also utilize the existing opportunities in Kiswahili by promoting this language, especially through organising teaching programmes, which integrate Kiswahili, economy and entrepreneurship. Universities should also train young people on translation along with other languages for better translation that meet international standards,” he stressed.

In a related development, Dr Mwinyi commended the Zanzibar Kiswahili Council (BAKIZA) for ongoing efforts to promote the language in different ways, urging it to continue organising competitions among schools and students, adding that the act encourages competition among researchers, writers and publishers aimed at building Kiswahili.

Equally, he also expressed his appreciation to the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports for organising Kiswahili forums at regional and international levels, noting that the existence of Kiswahili academicians from Uganda, Kenya, and the United States of America (US) indicates that the language is being accepted globally.

The Minister for Tourism and Heritage Mr Simai Mohamed Said, said Kiswahili is a commercial product that the Ministry has been sparing no effort in promoting, saying it has resulted into jobs creation for teachers and culture promotion.

Mr Said used the opportunity to remember some of the best Kiswahili literature writers such as Prof Said Ahmed Mohamed, born in Pemba and acknowledging their work, saying that the government will continue honouring them.

Commenting, BAKIZA Executive Secretary, Ms Dr Mwanahija Ali Juma, informed the gathering that although her office remains committed to implementing its role in promoting Kiswahili, lack of reliable funding for research and publication of books and other document were among challenges to be addressed.

In her address, she noted that the sixth Kiswahili International forum held for the first in Pemba was aimed at promoting the language through dialogues and discussing challenges and ways to move forward in spreading the language.

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