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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

9th House of Reps inaugurated

  • Shein nominates three Reps from Opposition
  • Says no one qualifies for First VP post
ZANZIBAR President Ali Mohamed Shein yesterday inaugurated the 9th House of Representatives here, promising to act tough against corrupt leaders as he confirmed that formation of a Government of National Unity (GNU) has not been possible due to constitutional barriers. “Section 39 of the Zanzibar constitution is clear.

Other political parties, which contested in the March 20, general elections failed to garner seats and votes, to meet the legal requirement.

I have not appointed the First Vice-President because none qualifies,” Dr Shein told the packed House.

He informed the cheering members of the House and visitors that elections were over, and every Zanzibari should go back to work while maintaining peace and stability for the development of the country, which has been recording economic growth at the average of 6 per cent.“Let us work hard, love each other, maintain peace, conserve environment, and fight corruption,” said Dr Shein as he warned corrupt and lazy civil servants that they would not be spared in his final term in office as president.

As he prepares to announce members of his cabinet, Dr Shein said there were some executives in the government who still maintain the ‘business as usual’ attitude and violate regulations. “People have been talking about boils (majipu), I will not spare any. In fact I will remove them (majipu),” he vowed.

Citing a verse from the Holy Quran (Muslim holy book), Dr Shein said as religions forbade corruption; the representatives and all the people in Zanzibar must fully take part in the war against graft and unethical civil servants.

He said that a new leadership code of ethicswould be issued soon and that every leader will be required to declare his/her wealth.

He urged all leaders in his government to observe ethics and regulations, including shunning absenteeism. In his estimated 2 hours:15 minutes inaugural speech, Dr Shein vowed to maintain good relations with Union President John Magufuli in strengthening the 52-year union, saying there was no substitute for the Union and Mapinduzi (Zanzibar revolution).

“Let us all stand firm to defend our unity,” he appealed to the Reps. He emphasized on improving foreign relations alongside the Diaspora, which he said has all along been supporting Zanzibaris.

He, however, said Zanzibar was now focused on becoming a self-reliant country by increasing production and revenue collections.

“We have been on track in the economy; I appeal to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the ‘Zanzibar Revenue Board (ZRB) to improve collection so that we can meet our goals.

There are still some areas of tax evasion,” Dr Shein said as he promised to fulfil his pledges during past election campaign.
The pledges include doubling basic salary, currently at 150,000/-, within this year, improving the welfare of members of security units (vikosi), and the welfare of the elderly by introducing universal pension for the senior citizens (at 70 and above) starting at the end of this month.

Dr Shein promised to improve the infrastructure, water availability, sports, education, health, media freedom, youth, women, children, people with disability, and energy sector, including oil and gas.

Meanwhile, President Shein has nominated some opposition leaders, who lost in the March 20, 2016 elections, to be members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives. Section 66 of the Zanzibar constitution empowers the president to nominate 10 people to the House.

The nominated leaders include Mr Hamad Rashid Mohamed (ADC), Mr Said Soud Said (AFP), and Mr Juma Ali Khatib (ADA-TADEA).

The three contested for the Zanzibar presidency in October last year -- and this year -- losing to Dr Shein.

According to the press statement from the Zanzibar State House, Dr Shein also appointed Ambassador Ali Karume, Ambassador Ms Amina Salum Ali, Ms Maudline Castico, and Mr Mohamed Aboud Mohamed, all from Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

Following the nominations, the Zanzibar House will now have three members from the opposition after taking oath.

CCM enjoys the majority after the main opposition -- Civic United Front (CUF) boycotted the elections.

CUF Secretary General Seif Sharif Hamad, who also contested for the Zanzibar presidency for the fifth time since the first multiparty elections in 1995, has vowed not to work with Dr Shein’s government.

/Daily News.

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