E-mail from Anonymous JUNE.19

DAR ES SALAAM (June 18) XINHUA (By Pei Shanqin)
China will provide 5 million YuanRenmibi (about 600,000 U.S. Dollars) to the Zanzibar government as part of agreement signed in Zanzibar today on technical cooperation. Under the agreement, Zanzibar will get technical guidance from Chinese engineers in operating and maintaining radio equipment at the Langoni Transmitter House and radio studio, which were established in 1990 with Chinese assistance. The agreement was signed by Tanzanian Minister for Finance Amina Salim Ali and visiting Chinese Deputy Minister of External Economic Relations and Trade Lui Shanzai. According to the agreement, local radio technicians will receive in house training from Chinese engineers who will be based in the town of Zanzaibar for two years from September this year to August 1998. Some of the funds will be spent in repairing radio studio at Dole, West Zanzibar District, and the rest of the money will be disbursed to other social and economic sectors to be determined later. The cooperation between the two sides began in early June 1964 and China has been assisting Zanzibar in economic sectors including the construction and initial running of a cigarette factory, the Mahonda Sugar Factory and a tractor workshop, in addition to the provision of doctors. Later in the day, the 13-member Chinese delegation held talks with the Isles president, Dr. Salmin Amour and Chief Minister Mohammed Bilal on different occasions. The Chinese deputy minister and his delegation arrived here on Sunday for a 4-day visit to Tanzania.
The Zanzibar House of representatives yesterday approved the 1996/97 government budget proposals and annual plan tabled in the House last week. The opposition Civic United Front (CUF) legislators boycotted the parliamentary session which approved the budget. They also boycotted the two day debate that preceded the approval. Finance Minister, Amin Salim Ali, said the total government expenditure for 1996/97 was Shs 55,527.70 million (about US $ 89.56 million) of which Shs 32,253.82 million (about 52 million US dollars) would be recurrent and the balance would be development. She said the expenditure of the new financial year went up by Shs 1,699.82 ( about 2.74 million US dollars) from last year's Shs 53,827.88 million (about 86.82 million US dollars). She said the government would plan tougher punishments for officials involved in embezzlement and misappropriation of government funds. Under the new punishment, Ministers and Principal Secretaries will have special powers to confiscate property of those convicted of the offences. She also admitted that there were weaknesses in revenue collection especially on customs duty and sale tax but she pledged that the problems will soon be overcome. The minister also said that the formation of the Zanzibar internal revenue board would also help control tax evasion. Tabling the annual plan, Planning Minister, Ali Shamhuna said 60 development projects costing Shs 23.2 billion (about 37.42 million US dollars) were listed in the new plan down from 81 projects worth 43.06 million US dollars in the 1995/96 plan.
The Tanzanian shilling continued to weaken this week against the US dollar, a trend attributed to greater demand for the hard currency. The shilling stood at a mean rate of 621.66 to the US dollar Monday, a further drop from 618.57 against the dollar on Friday last week. The Tanzanian shilling has weakened more than 10 percent since April, when it averaged 545.2 against the dollar, according to the Central Bank.
Inter Press Service English News Wire, 05-04-1996.
DAR ES SALAAM, May 3 (IPS) -- Six-months into Benjamin Mkapa's tenure as President of the United Republic of Tanzania, his report card is generally favorable, with one proviso: he could do much better in his handling of the bubbling crisis on the Indian Ocean archipelego of Zanzibar. Analysts here express concern that his outright refusal to address the increasingly violent political turmoil in Zanzibar may cost him not only the credibility he has achieved, but also only recently-renewed donor and investor confidence. Backed by Tanzania's founding father Julius Nyerere, who still wields considerable influence in both the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party and national affairs, Mkapa distinguished himself from the other CCM presidential hopefuls as being the candidate who could deliver on the anti-corruption front, a major issue during last year's general election campaign. On being sworn-in, Mkapa followed up on his campaign promise by publicly announcing his personal wealth and undertook major cabinet changes in a move signifying his departure from the CCM old guard. Although no concrete or punitive measures towards addressing the issue of corruption have otherwise been made, analysts believe the gestures have been significant. "Real judgement can only be given on how Mkapa eventually deals with corruption in the parastatals, in the National Bank of Commerce, all of which are overbloated," comments Dr Mhinna, a political scientist and member of the Tanzania Elections Monitoring Committee, a non-governmental watchdog. "Apart from the cabinet, administrative governance hasn't really changed as many controversial people have remained in position. The more Mkapa is around, the more he's tied by existing structures," Mhinna notes. However, "there is an atmosphere now where people, not necessarily the government, can take action to confront and expose misuse of public funds," he adds. "That didn't happen under (former President Ali Hassan) Mwinyi where there was complete impunity." "Corruption is found everywhere," states Prof. Maliyamkono, who heads the Eastern and Southern Africa University Research Program, an independent political and economic think-tank. "But once corruption is out of the state house, then corruption will die." "Economically, Mkapa is running in the right direction," he feels. "Within two months of his leadership, the shilling was gaining strength, although that doesn't necessarily help the common person, all donor withdrawals were back, and investment was up, although there's still much to be done there." But Mkapa's recent harshly worded statement in response to the crisis on Zanzibar has left some observers shocked and worried about the effects his intransigent stance will have on the gains he has achieved so far. Zanzibar and Pemba, since their formal union in 1964 with what was then called Tanganyika, are run by a separate government from the mainland. In last year's disputed elections, lmin Amor, the CCM presidential candidate, was declared the winner over the opposition leader Seif Shariff Hamad of the Civic United Front (CUF). Claims of election irregularities and the very narrow 0.4 percent margin between the two candidates have not been addressed, leading to a CUF boycott of parliament and initiation of a civic disobedience campaign. Under Amor, the CCM in Zanzibar has responded with what has been termed by CUF as a campaign of harassment and intimidation. Following the bombing of a power transformer, over 40 CUF members have been arrested and a paramilitary police unit raided Hamad's home. Widespread calls for presidential intervention and mediation to resolve the situation have been ignored, deepening the tension. Hamad this week called for Nyerere's intercession, saying it was ironic that Tanzania could play a leading role on the Burundi crisis while failing to address its own home-grown troubles. On the mainland, Augustine Mrema, who heads the opposition party NCCR-Maguezi, this week called a meeting of all opposition parties, urging a united front to force the CCM to address the issue. The international outcry is also growing. The U.S. has voiced its concern about the situation, while Norway has suspended all aid to Zanzibar. Organization of African Unity Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim, himself a Zanzibari, has called for mediation, and urged CCM to respect the opposition's concerns. But despite all the pressure, Mkapa early this week denied the reports of CUF harassment, and expressed his support for Amor as president. A few analysts support his position, that CUF should accept the election results. "I'm sick and tired of talking about Zanzibar and Pemba," says Maliyamkono. He said, "One percent of the population is deflecting attention from the other 99 percent." But generally, the reaction to Mkapa's position has not been positive. "Mkapa's statement took a lot of people by surprise. People were very unhappy with it as it seemed irrational," says Mhinna. "Giving his outright support to CCM in Zanzibar, and more specifically to Amor, indicates he is tolerating Amor's disrespect and insubordination and illegal and dictatorial behavior." "As President of the Republic, he should not allow the situation to continue, as it will leave permanent scars," he continues. "What was significant and sad about his statement is that it completely closed the door for negotiations. "The only options open now are that CUF will tire of its campaign, which is very unlikely, or that the CCM will contain the situation with increasing force," he added. Various explanations abound about the motivation behind Mkapa's statement. Cynics allege it is down to his reluctance to alienate the Zanzibari vote in the upcoming CCM elections for party Chair, as Zanzibar has always been well-represented in the party. Others say that CCM fears a CUF government, as CUF publicly supports a re-negation of the Union. Whatever the reasons, the implications are grave. The crisis is also fomenting a split between Zanzibar and Pemba. CUF won all parliamentary seats in Pemba, but only 3 in Zanzibar to CCM's 26. Popular stereotyping of Pemba people as being inferior to Zanzibaris has been exploited by Amor in his denunciations of CUF. Pemba has been consistently marginalized in the islands governance. Since the 1964 revolution against the Oman Sultanate, all presidents of the islands have come from Zanzibar. But "the fact that CUF won seats in Zanzibar means that it has considerable support, and that it's not a Pemba-only party," says Mhinna. "The animosity and racial tensions that have come up are exploited and fuelled by the Zanzibari leadership." "Having started in a skeptical manner, donors are now responding to Mkapa, on improved tax-collection, etc. Mkapa is putting these new relationships at risk and may pay the costs," Mhinna warns. "If Mkapa is a democrat, which he claims to be, then he must not continue to support human rights violations."

Copyright 1996 IPS/GIN. The contents of this story can not be duplicated in any fashion without written permission of Global Information Network
Inter Press Service English News Wire, 04-20-1996.
NAIROBI, Apr. 19 (IPS) -- For decades Zanzibar's economy has hinged almost solely on cloves, but falling world market prices for the commodity have forced the Indian Ocean archipelago to turn to other sources of income. "We are taking drastic measures to diversify the economy which was heavily dependent on cloves," says Finance Minister Amina Salman. "We are moving away from agriculture into services and manufacturing." "We are glad that the services sector, which includes tourism and trade, is growing faster," she told IPS here this week. "In 1990 it was only 15 per cent. Now it accounts for 29 per cent of Zanzibar's economy." Tourism, which attracted 50,000 people in 1993, now makes up 70 per cent of the services sector. Most of the tourists come from Germany, Britain and the United States. Amina expects tourism and commerce to boost the island's economy, severely affected by the fall in the world market price of cloves. In the 1980s, Zanzibar's main export fetched $9,000 a ton. Now it sells at $600 a ton. This resulted in an economic growth rate of minus four per cent in 1990. "Now, thanks to the diversification process, the economy has registered 3.6 per cent growth. In the year 2001 we expect it to reach six per cent," she said. However, cloves still provide about 80 per cent of the islands' foreign exchange earnings. Zanzibar was once the world's largest exporter of the spice, but it now vies with Madagascar for second place behind Indonesia. Other major competitors include Sri Lanka and Brazil. Marketed output has fallen because of low producer prices, diseases that have affected clove trees, and smuggling. The islands exported an average 20,000 tons a year in the 1960s, but only 5,800 tons in 1990. This led the republic to move to reduce its dependence on a single commodity. "In order to arrest the situation, the government introduced policies which were designed to diversify the economy away from clove production and to foster private and foreign investment," said Zanzibar's Chief Minister, Mohamed Gharib Bilal. In 1986, it introduced an Investment Protection Act offering potential investors an array of incentives designed to attract foreign capital to various sectors of the economy, especially tourism. Bilal admits, however, that much still needs to be done. "We recognize that infrastructural developments need to go hand in hand with the advance of tourism. Indeed in many cases they are a necessary precursor," said the Chief Minister. He said his administration is now rehabilitating roads, electricity and water facilities, while the airport in Unguja, the main Zanzibari island, was upgraded in 1991 to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft. "Further we are in the process of improving all the customer facilities at the airport. We feel that this will not only bring Zanzibar's airport to an international standard but will provide direct flights from Europe and the Middle East," said Bilal. Zanzibar, a former Omani sultanate, merged with Tanganyika to form the Republic of Tanzania in 1964, following a popular uprising in which the last Arab sultan was forced to flee into exile in Britain. Despite the uprising, cultural and religious links between the islands' 750,000 people, 96 per cent of whom are Muslims, and the Middle East remain strong. Thousands of Zanzibaris work in Oman and they remit millions of dollars to their families every year. The campaign to attract investment to Zanzibar is likely to be affected by the political unrest that has followed parliamentary and presidential elections in October 1995. The opposition Civic Union Front (CUF), based mainly in Pemba, the smaller of the archipelago's two main islands, has maintained that the elections were rigged by the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). It has refused to recognize the Zanzibari government, kept its 24 legislators away from Zanzibar's 50-member parliament and carried out a campaign of civil disobedience. Since November, the islands have been hit by acts of arson, sabotage and demonstrations. Forty people were recently arrested for trying to blow up a power station and Bilal has vowed to crack down on offenders. He accuses the CUF of resorting to what he calls acts of terrorism "instead of assuming its legally recognized role of an opposition party, which is to put to task the ruling party and its government by acting as a watchdog in the pursuit of good governance, democracy and respect for human rights." The government is also grappling with a famine in the east of Pemba. "The famine was caused by scanty rain, which led to crop failure," said Bilal. "Although shops are full of food, people cannot afford it. That is why we appealed to the international community to help them with food aid until the next rainy season in July."

Copyright 1996 IPS/GIN. The contents of this story can not be duplicated in any fashion without written permission of Global Information Network
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