Mwinyi: Safeguard  basic rights to  maintain peace

Mwinyi: Safeguard basic rights to maintain peace

ZANZIBAR President Hussein Mwinyi has insisted that for the country to maintain peace, it was imperative for all citizens to enjoy and practice their basic rights.

Dr Mwinyi made the remarks on Tuesday, when he graced an event to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Episcopal Ordination of Catholic Diocese of Zanzibar Bishop Augustine Shao at Amani National Stadium in Unguja.

During the same occasion, President Mwinyi congratulated Bishop Shao for the milestone achievement and used the platform to emphasize on the importance of every individual to observe basic rights of others for the ountry to remain peaceful.

“Every citizen has to enjoy the basic rights,” he said, calling on all religious leaders in different denominations to continue preaching peace and religious tolerance as a basis to build trust.

Equally, he hailed Bishop Shao describing him as one exemplifying “servant leadership, for, he has always been preaching peace and unity for all people.

“As we mark 25 years since Bishop Shao was ordained it is important we also reflect on his service to the people and the country… he is a living example of servant leadership which encourages institutions to work with dedication,” Dr Mwinyi said.

President Dr Mwinyi used the opportu- nity to urge the people of Zanzibar to continue maintaining peace because the country has a long history of its citizens living in religious tolerance.

He also praised the Catholic Church for promoting peace and contributing to ser- vices delivery including setting up health facilities and schools.

The president said the government recognises the significant contribution of reli- gious institutions in encouraging believers to obey the rule of law and refrain from acts of violence and drug abuse.

While praising religious institutions for being at the forefront of upholding the values and well-being of society, President Mwinyi also promised to tackle challenges facing Christians in Zanzibar.

Earlier, Bishop Shao raised a number of concerns including lack of land ownership, saying: “It is unfortunate we are denied right to own land.”

He also bemoaned the level of human trafficking in Zanzibar, saying it was high because of some unscrupulous and dishon- est officers within the Immigrations Department.

He said some of them are colluding with traffickers to easily issue travel documents.

Bishop Shao said although the government under Dr Mwinyi has shown se- riousness in the war against corruption by strengthening Zanzibar Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Authority (ZAECA) and gender based violence by improving laws, the challenges still exist and required con- certed efforts to address.

In response President Mwinyi promised to leave no stone unturned to solve the problems, saying that the government has also embarked on several development projects under Blue economy to create jobs and im- prove people’s welfare.

“I met and held talks with some Christian leaders on April 27th this year, remind- ing them about job opportunities to include Christians.

I promise to maintain level ground for all jobs allocations,” Dr Mwinyi said, mentioning that the ongoing projects in some areas aim to move Zanzibar in a better position for all.

Developing tourism, construction of new ports, improving sea transports and trade, developing fishing and seaweed farming, as well as Oil and Gas exploration are the areas that the government is considering serious investments to move Zanzibar to the next level of development.

President Mwinyi said tourism is the axis of the Zanzibar economy, contributing 30 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He also said that the government’s goal is to make the best use of marine resources to bring development to the people because the sea is still under-utilised.

He explained that seaweed farming and fishing accounts for two-thirds of the population’s daily source of income, so the government has put an emphasis on strengthening fishing, in order to increase productivity and eliminate poverty.

The Minister of State in the Office of the Second Vice-President, Policy, Coordination and the House of Representatives Hamza Hassan also pledged to work on all the challenges presented by the church leaders.

He urged all Zanzibaris to live without discrimination.

The Deputy Mufti of Zanzibar Sheikh Mahamoud Mussa, who attended the jubilee, praised Bishop Shao as a gentle, kind and wise man, the habits allowing him to carry out his duties well.

In addition, the Pope’s Ambassador to Tanzania Mozine Richard, offering a prayer, delivered a message from the Pope, congratulating Bishop Shao for leading the Zanzibar diocese well for the past 25 years.

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter in Zanzibar

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