PRESIDENT Ali Mohamed Shein over the weekend condemned destruction of public infrastructure, describing the habit as being tantamount to insanity. Launching the imposing seven-storey Zanzibar Utilities Regulatory Authority (ZURA), building at Maisara, Dr Shein said the government will mercilessly deal with misguided individuals bent on damaging public properties.
“We can’t afford spending this colossal amount of public money to build these social and economic infrastructure and tolerate a few ill-advised individuals who damage them deliberately,” President Shein said in reference to the recent destruction of street lights in Pemba Island.
He urged all Zanzibaris to protect the infrastructure on which the government had invested heavily to develop for the best interests of the nation. “Everybody is dutybound to safeguard public assets because they serve us all,” he remarked. Dr Shein described the 19.9bn/-, which the government had invested in the project as substantial, further remarking:
“We could have channeled the money to education or social services... but we sacrificed to improve the working environment for public servants. This asset therefore deserves our protection and care.” He said Zanzibar was financially capable and can accomplish whatever it decides. “If we decide, we can finance our development projects on our own, we are not weak, and noone should belittle us,” he said.
The Indian Ocean’s semi autonomous archipelago, according to President Shein, has secured a 150 million US dollar loan (over 350bn/-) from Indonesia for construction of Mangapwani and Mpigaduri ports. He pointed out that although Zanzibar was open for support and loans from outside the country, “We have no space for aid that comes with conditionality’s.”
President Shein praised Lands, Water and Energy Minister, Salama Aboud Talib, describing her as a tough and capable lady. “This ministry is highly challenging because it handles sensitive issues, especially land. But, Minister Salama has managed it well,” he remarked.
Besides housing the ministry and some institutions under its docket, including ZURA and Zanzibar Petroleum Development Company, the new twintower building has also immensely beautified the touristic Zanzibar city. The building whose construction started in 2017 is fitted with a solar power system as backup in case of problems with the grid electricity. The building also has a basement parking yard for over 40 vehicles