ZANZIBAR’S ACT-Wazalendo Presidential Candidate, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad has promised that his government, if elected, will ensure the wealth from oil and natural gas exploration is shared among all Zanzibaris.
“The current law regarding oil and gas has gaps. It only benefits few citizens. Vote for me so that my government comes up with a law that will ensure all people in the country benefit from the wealth,” Hamad said when wooing voters on his campaign trail here over the weekend.
According to Mr Hamad, Shell Company is a capable and preferable company for the exploration of oil and gas in the Isles, adding that when he was the First Vice President (2010-2015), they had agreed to enter an agreement with the firm.
He said although the oil and gas project started when he was serving as the First Vice President, there have been delays in the process because of weakness in planning and selection of a company for oil and gas exploration task.
Since 2018, Zanzibar government entered an agreement (signed a Production Sharing Agreement-PSA) with RAK Gas LLC, for the exploration of natural gas in the country, and already field activities, including pre-drilling, aerial exploration and development of offshore infrastructure for test drilling has been done.
“If elected, my plan is to have oil and gas production by 2024,” Hamad said, while ACT-Wazalendo Vice National Chairman, Juma Duni Haji said they are well prepared to change both Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland if majority voters endorse them to form the next government.
Mr Haji who was contesting as House of Representative for Mtoni Constituency in Unguja is among the 11 candidates who have been rejected by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) after mess-up in filling the nomination forms.
“Yes, the only mistake which led to ZEC kicking me out of the race is just forgetting to mention my gender (Male or Female),” he said.
Meanwhile, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad has joined other leaders to condemn the attack on three people in a mosque in Pemba last Tuesday, distancing his party from the transgression.
“As a political party, we discourage such offence.”