ZANZIBAR: ZANZIBAR President, Dr Hussein Mwinyi on Friday led thousands of Tanzanians to commemorate the diamond revolution jubilee at the imposing New Amani Sports complex here.
President Mwinyi arrived at the fully-parked arena on an open military van at 4:05pm, about 20 minutes after the arrival of union President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan at 3:45pm.
Although Friday’s festivities were conducted in the afternoon against traditions, the gates at the event venue were open as early as 10am to allow in members of the public.
Second Vice-President Hemed Suleiman Abdulla who chaired the committee had rescheduled the celebrations to allow Muslims to attend Friday prayers in the morning.
Upon arrival, Dr Mwinyi was led to the saluting dais where he received the presidential greetings and 21-gun salute after the singing of Zanzibar and East African anthems. He then inspected the guard of honour mounted by the armed forces before heading to the high table to greet his visitors.
The festivities enjoyed a wide East African representation, with the presence of majority East African Community (EAC) member states. In attendance were Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame; Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni; Kenya’s Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Burundi’s Prime Minister Gervais Ndirakobuca.
At the high table, Dr Mwinyi received solidarity processions from all walks of life. Cheerful Zanzibaris from the country’s five regions and 11 districts, employees in pubic organisations and government departments; as well as students joined in the celebratory demonstration.
The newly refurbished Amani Sports complex was filled to the brim as Tanzanians—Islanders and Mainlanders—turned up in their thousands to celebrate the historic day, thanks to the conducive weather of cloudy sky and cool atmosphere.
The traditional pomp, parades by members of the security and defence forces, singing and enthusiastic wananchi beatified the festivity. The Tanzania People’s Defence Forces’ (TPDF) special land, air and naval squads were among the most thrilling to the audience.
The revolution age mates—Tanzanians born on January 12, 1964—entertained the public with their special song to commemorate the revolution and their birthday and later released pigeons into the air to express peace and stability in the country.
Prior to the grand day, Zanzibaris kept vigil, with Thursday midnight fireworks illuminating the sky over Zanzibar City and its environs. The Islanders thronged the popular Maisara ground in the central business district to welcome the day.
President Mwinyi and other national leaders had joined the enthusiastic wananchi at the grounds to enjoy the fireworks and welcome the revolution day. Hooting from vehicles and docked sea vessels were also part of the entertainments that citizens enjoyed.
Zanzibar’s Revolution Day has great historical importance and almost all Zanzibaris celebrate it enthusiastically.
Union Vice-President, Dr Philip Mpango; Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, Zanzibar First Vice-President Othman Masoud Othman; Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Tulia Ackson; Deputy Prime Minister Dr Dotto Biteko, ministers from the union and revolutionary governments; heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations were among the prominent guests at the event.