Samia touts Union feats

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has underlined key achievements in 59 years of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, including upholding peace, national unity and socio-economic development.

Dr Samia said the success is in line with the vision of the founding fathers of the nation, the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere and Sheikh Abeid Aman Karume.

As Tanzanians in both Mainland and the semi-autonomous Zanzibar Islands celebrated the unique Union between the two sides sealed in 1964, President Samia asked the citizens to continue protecting the prevailing peace, unity and tranquility.

“It has been years of unity, peace and prosperity  as it was the vision of our founding fathers the late Julius Kambarage Nyerere and Sheikh Abeid Aman Karume…we should continue to maintain this noble and unique value of our nation,” Dr Samia tweeted, wishing Tanzanians the best 59th Union anniversary.

For his part, the Minister of State Vice-President’s Office (Union and Environment) Selemani Jafo highlighted other major strides that the country has attained in the past 59 years.

They include improvement of the economy, advancement in provision of social services such as education, water and health.

“We have also managed to establish offices of institutions that deal with Union affairs in Zanzibar,” he explained.

He went on to mention other achievements as improvement in defence and security, implementation of  development programmes and development for the two parts of the union.

“The government has also continued to address challenges of the Union, improving the cooperation on non-Union matters as well as providing mass education on union affairs,” said the minister.

Dr Jafo said the recorded success has been beneficial to the people from Mainland and Zanzibar as a result, the Union has  remained  stable  for  over a half  century.

“We have all the reasons to thank God for protecting us and our Union that is so unique in Africa, I’m calling upon Tanzanians to continue protecting it as it is crucial for our development,” he said.

Dr Jafo also called on Tanzanians to continue protecting the environment by planting trees and cleaning the surrounding environments.

Tabling the budget estimates for his docket for the 2023/2024 financial year, Dr Jafo told the National Assembly that it was so impressive that as the nation celebrates its 59th anniversary of Union, only four contentious matters remain.

“We have made significant progress in resolving the vexes, for which we are grateful, and we anticipate that in the near future, we will resolve the remaining ones aimed at strengthening the union,” he said.

Minister Jafo said that in joint meetings held in the 2022/2023 financial year; eight issues were discussed of which four of them were resolved and removed from the union vexes.

They include complaints by Zanzibar’s traders on double taxation on pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) and withholding tax.

Others are complaints from the Zanzibar Electric Company (ZECO) on skyrocketing utility charges from the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) and a loan agreement for financing the project for the construction of Terminal III of the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport.

The Union’s contentious matters resolved include the implementation of the Act of the Commission on Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG), in which Chapter 391 administered by the commission was not implemented in Zanzibar.

As a result, in October 2006, the Act was amended to allow the Commission to work on both sides of the Union.

Others are the Implementation of the Merchant Shipping Act and Zanzibar’s ability to join the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Zanzibar’s participation in the East African Community (EAC) and the RGZ’s involvement in international and regional issues.

Here, the Zanzibar government presented eight development projects for inclusion in the regional projects implemented in EAC.

Four of the eight regional projects were prioritised for the preparation of the project documentation, architecture and cost assessment ready for funding.

Implementation of Pemba Airport and Mpigaduri/Maruhubi port projects that the Isles government wanted to be financed under the EAC arrangement had been funded through other sources.

Meanwhile President Samia has pardoned six inmates and reduced jail terms by a quarter of 370 prisoners as part of celebrations of the 59th of the Union.

According to the Minister for Home Affairs Hamad Masauni six inmates were freed yesterday while the 370 will continue to serve the remaining time of their jail terms.

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