30 June 2012

Tanzania: House Approves Vice-President's Budget Amid Reservations

Zanzibar — MEMBERS of the Zanzibar House of Representatives on Friday approved the Office of the First Vice- President 2.8bn/- budget proposal for the 2012/2013 year amid reservations from some legislators.

Some legislators said there was insufficient explanation on the allocation of funds for miscellaneous use and allowances, and questionable trips abroad, war on drugs, and support for people living with disabilities. Mr Ali Abdallah Ali, the Deputy Speaker of the House who was chairing the session, had to allow members of the House to demand for explanation from the minister before the approval of the budget.

Reservations were raised by Mr Ismail Jussa Ladu (CUF-Mjimkongwe) with the backing of other members such as Mr Makame Mshimba Mbarouk (CCM-Kitope), and Ms Asha Bakar Makame (CCM-Women) who pressed the government to act fast in making sure that rights for people with disabilities, and HIV are observed.

The issue of environment degradation also dominated the debate on the First Vice-President's Office with members calling for control of importation of second-hand electronics, which later turn to be e-wastes. Responding to the concerns, the Minister of State (First Vice- President's Office), Ms Fatma Abdulhabib Fereji, who is responsible for environment, war on drugs, HIV/AIDS, and the welfare of people with disabilities said she needed support.

"It is wrong to think these are government's responsibility. We need concerted efforts, and everyone has a big role to play," Fereji said as she battled to convince legislators to approve her budget. She said that the government had done a lot in war against drugs business, and control of the spread of HIV/AIDS, collective responsibility was important to save environment particularly minimizing illegal cutting down of trees, quarrying, and destruction of coral reefs.

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