The President of Zanzibar, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, said yesterday that maintaining unity, integrity and accountability was key to the successful implementation of his government’s development agenda.
Dr Mwinyi made the remarks during an exclusive interview with principal journalists from Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) held at the Zanzibar State House, led by the MCL Managing Director, Mr Bakari Machumu.
During the interview, Zanzibar’s eighth President clarified the statement he made at a past event that he “would not be discouraged.”
That statement was in response to reports that some people in the Isles were of the view that some of his dreams were not practical.
Yesterday, Dr Mwinyi virtually said that his political rivals and public servants who have been accused of embezzlement, corruption and unaccountability cannot believe in the realisation of his dreams.
“I aimed at stressing that, through unity, accountability and integrity, my dreams – especially the realization of a blue economy – would be achieved,” he said.
He stressed that people from the two groups would like to see his government fail to achieve a blue economy status. However, projects implementation will continue to full realisation in five years.
According to him, despite the ongoing cleanup in Zanzibar’s public service – including sacking corrupt, embezzling and unaccountable workers – the challenges were still immense.
“I have been taking administrative measures against such workers. However, it has not been an easy job,” he said.
“Some cases are being investigated by respective bodies, including the Zanzibar Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Authority (Zaeca). However, Zaeca needs to have tangible exhibits to support taking a suspect to court. But, we are taking administrative measures as appropriate,” he said.
He expressed confidence in the Government of National Unity (GNU) between the ruling CCM party and opposition political party ACT-Wazalendo, saying there have been no complaints or challenges within the unity government.
“We both agreed to ensure that issues which hurt our people are not allowed to happen,” he said.
Regarding the number of ACT-Wazalendo ministers in the unity government, Dr Mwinyi said their number was merely a constitutional issue, and is based on the number of constituencies seats in the House of Representatives that is won by the opposition, as well as the total electoral votes garnered.
Whether the GNU concept could be replicated in the Union Government, Dr Mwinyi said the two parties to the United Republic have different historical backgrounds, and the GNU system may not necessarily work for the Union.
“Votes garnered by the winning party (CCM) and the second ‘winner’ (political opposition)in Zanzibar differ by a very small margin.
“Therefore, there was a real need to form a unity government for the two sides to work together – and that is what we did,” he said.
He noted that situation was different for the Union Government where the ruling CCM party has been winning elections by a large margin against the political opposition.
In another development, President Mwinyi – a former Union Minister for Defence and National Service – said the late First Vice President Seif Sharif Hamad would be remembered for unifying the Isles.
According to him, Hamad prioritised the interests of Zanzibar, instead of his personal interests.