Union in the eye of citizens

SOME Tanzanians have commended admirable development attained in 59 years of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, calling upon the relevant authorities to work on minor challenges to make the merger stronger.

They aired their views this week when the country celebrated 59 years of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which was sealed on April 26, 1964 by the founding fathers -Julius Nyerere and Abeid Aman Karume.

According to them, the Union has created a sense of brotherhood between the people of the two sides and facilitates the movement of people, goods and services.

Speaking to the ‘Sunday News’ in separate interviews they said that people should cherish the Union because the founding fathers had a vision of uniting people from both sides.

Mr Sebastian Lugusha, a resident of Temeke in Dar es Salaam Region said that when a few remaining challenges are addressed the Union will be stronger, enabling people to benefit more from the arising opportunities.

Mr Lugusha called upon the government to resolve tax challenges at the port for some goods coming from Zanzibar, especially domestic electronic appliances such as television sets, radios and fridges.

Regarding education, Mr Lugusha said Tanzanians are free to study either in Mainland or Zanzibar, adding that university students from both sides have been cooperating in educational matters.

Farida Kibwana, a resident of Makunduchi area in Zanzibar said that the Union has improved people’s interactions, whereas most Tanzanians from Mainland are working in five-star hotels in Zanzibar.

She added that the government should resolve the challenge of land ownership for  Tanzanians from the Mainland who live in Zanzibar.

Shani Omary, a resident of Kibaha in Coast Region, said that the Union has helped in skills exchange where professionals from Zanzibar are coming to work in Mainland and vice versa.

Simon Peter, a resident of Moshono area in Arusha Region, said that the Union has strengthened tourism activities, hence increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through tourists visiting various attractions in Mainland and Zanzibar.

He said that the country has been receiving visitors from various countries, including world famous people who have been visiting national parks in Mainland and other tourist attractions in Zanzibar.

Moreover, he asked the government to strengthen the Union by continuing to work on the remaining challenges such as taxes.

A petty trader, carrying out his activities at Dar es Salaam’s City Centre, Mr Deogratius Hilary said since President Samia Suluhu Hassan took over the office, business flow between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam has been on the upward trajectory.

“I have been doing my business in both sides of the Union without any inconveniences,” he admitted.

He added that there are neither disturbances nor discrimination to traders as long as one is shipping genuine products and obeying the laws, which has made him and his colleagues feel valued.

Suzan Kanza, a shopkeeper with her business stall located adjacent to the Dar es Salaam terminal’s space allocated for Zanzibar bound vessels, expressed her gratitude for the existing peace and tranquility, a situation that enables people of both parts of the Union to feel free to trade with each other.

Ms Kanza, however, called for harmonisation of taxes, levies and guiding policies to widen the scope of economic interaction between Zanzibar and the Mainland.

“This Union is beneficial, so it must be cherished by every development minded person. It has promoted freedom and unity among people which has helped them to get rid of negative perception surrounding the merger,” said Hamza Masoud, a resident of Dar es Salaam.

He said under the existing Union people are interacting freely in all aspects.

Mr Hashim Bakari Rajab, a fruits vendor at Darajani, in Zanzibar said Union challenges should be well looked at by the government since the Union has, without any doubt, proved to be beneficial to Tanzanians.

He said leaders and the founders of the Union agreed to unite the two sides for a number of reasons, including security and development for their people. “The foundation of our country must be safeguarded to further benefit us, our children and grandchildren.”

Ms Mwanakombo Haji, a fishmonger at Malindi area in Zanzibar said: “As we celebrate the Union, I believe we are safe in all aspects. This merger provides us with numerous opportunities in trade. I think we need to strengthen our ties.”

She  added that that every Tanzanian should learn about the benefits of the Union and promote it, especially youths who can be misled through receiving or reading distorted information.

Mr Mohamed Khamis, a self-employed young Tanzanian, said “although we celebrate the Union, we need more job opportunities for Zanzibaris in embassies abroad, and in institutions under the Union government.”

Mr Hassan Mohamed, a porter at Malindi Port says, people are enjoying the Union as it allows them to move freely in both sides.

However, he said complaints from traders on lack of freedom to enter Mainland through Dar es Salaam or Tanga  ports with some items from Zanzibar due to taxation reasons should be addressed.

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