ZANZIBAR: STRICT control of government revenues is the secret behind speedy execution of development projects in Zanzibar, President Hussein Mwinyi declared on Tuesday.
“There is nothing to hide here; we are using the same money, which some unscrupulous individuals used to divert from government coffers into their personal pockets,” Dr Mwinyi told a colloquium on his three years in the presidency.
President Mwinyi was responding to Infrastructure, Communication and Transport Minister Dr Khalid Salum Mohamed, who besides commending him for the exemplary leadership, especially implementation of mega development projects, said Zanzibaris are curious on the source of funds.
Dr Khalid said majority islanders approve the great work under Dr Mwinyi but wonder about the source of money he uses to execute grand development projects. He said: “But, let the source of your resources remain your secret.”
Responding, the president said there was widespread theft of public funds, crippling the government capacity to serve the people: “There were massive losses at the seaports, airports…everywhere, literally.”
The government has also opted to take loans for execution of the projects and repay the money over time. Instead of constructing a 20bn/- road for ten years through allocation of 2bn/- annually; we opted to take a loan; construct it within a year and repay the loan in ten years. So, there is no miracle; it’s all about articulate plans,” said President Mwinyi.
He attributed the impressive social and economic development under his reign in the past three years to strong digital systems to control government revenues and expenditures.
The president said Zanzibar has her doors open for domestic and foreign investors under a win-win situation. “We want investors for mutual benefits—both the investors and the government must benefit equally,” he said, citing taxes, jobs and markets as the obvious benefits that the government reaps from investments.
He assured the islanders that tourism, which is the backbone of Zanzibar economy has peaked after the 2020/2021 slowdown due to Covid-19, challenging Zanzibaris to grab the business opportunities that come with the blossoming industry.
“Zanzibar receives the highest number of tourists as compared to all airports in Tanzania,” he said, saying the country’s 600 tourist hotels are sometimes fully booked.
Enhanced good governance and rule of law that observes the country’s constitution, laws and regulations are the foundation of the impressive achievements under Dr Mwinyi’s three years in the country’s most authoritative office, he told the symposium.
President Mwinyi further explained that his participatory and inclusive leadership has strengthened peace, tranquility and solidarity among islanders irrespective of their political and religious ideologies or places of domiciles.
“I have eliminated discrimination in government employment—right now there is nothing as North or South Unguja; Pemba or Unguja; Arab or Ngazija consideration in public recruitment,” Dr Mwinyi said, adding that the country’s tranquility has helped to attract investors.
“Investors consider highly the peace in the country they aspire to inject their capitals, we are lucky that our country observes rules, policies and legislations that protect investors,” he said, pledging more speedy development in the remaining two years of his first five-year term that ends in 2025.