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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
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
The Chinese deputy minister and his delegation arrived here on Sunday
for a 4-day visit to Tanzania.
ZANZIBAR PARLIAMENT APPROVES 1996/97 BUDGET PROPOSALS
FEATURES AFRICA NETWORK
NEWS BULLETIN, JUNE 12, 1996.
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
(about 52 million US dollars) would be recurrent and the balance would be
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
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.
TANZANIA SHILLING NOSEDIVES AGAINST DOLLAR
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.
MKAPA LOSING MARKS OVER ZANZIBAR .by Nduru, Moyiga,
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
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
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
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
A few analysts support his position, that CUF should accept the
"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
"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
ZANZIBAR-ECONOMY: TURNING TO SERVICES AS CLOVE PRICES
FALL.,by Nduru, Moyiga,
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
"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
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
"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
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
"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
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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Zanzibar election Diary Oct.19-27,1995
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