Zanzibar — Leaders not obligated to live in public houses
NATIONAL leaders including president is not obligated to live in houses provided by the state, the minister of State, in the President's Office, Dr Mwinyihaji Makame Mwadini, informed the House on Wednesday.
He was responding to questions from Mr Mbarouk Wadi Mussa (CCM-Mkwajuni) who had asked why some top leaders were not living in government houses, and were instead using tax payersÕ money to renovate their private residences.
"National leaders are given government houses, but he is not prevented from living in his private house. There is no law, which bars them," said Mwadini. He said that leaders are not allowed to use public funds to renovate their own private houses, dismissing as not true reports that leaders were using public funds to renovate their private houses
Mr Mwadini said that the incumbent president Dr Ali Mohammed Shein lives at Migombani State House, but he also stays in his private house.
Farmers encouraged to grow bananas
ZANZIBAR is encouraging clove growers in Pemba to plant bananas as well following high demand of the crop. The advice was given by the minister for Agriculture and Natural Resources Mr Suleiman Othman Nyanga.
The minister informed the House that banana was doing well in Pemba compared to other parts of Zanzibar, and that already there were programmes in place to support farmers in Pemba to grow banana.
He was responding to questions from Mr Jaku Hashim Ayoub (CCM-Muyuni) and Mr Subeit Khamis Faki (CUF-Micheweni). He further said the World Bank through its ASSP & ASDP-L programmes, and PADEP had been promoting banana cultivation in Pemba since 2007.
The legislators wanted know the government's efforts in promoting banana farming in Pemba since the crop could grow on the island.
Legislators demand action on brain drain
MEMBERS of the Zanzibar House of Representatives have asked the Government to spare no efforts in controlling brain-drain especially in the health sector.
Debating the 2012/2013 budget for the Ministry of Health, the law makers expressed concern over the growing problem of brain drain, and asked authorities to fight the trend. The term brain drain refers to the movement of highly educated people from their respective countries to other countries looking for greener pasture.
Legislators Mr Omar Ali Shehe (CUF-Chakechake), Ms Asha Bakari Makame (CCM-Women), and Mr Abdallah Juma Abdallah (CUF-Chonga) attributed the increased brain drain problem to governmentÕs reluctance to improve working conditions for health workers.
"It is high time we controlled brain drain by making sure that medical doctors and nurses are well paid and are provided with better working facilities," said Ms Makame while Mr Shehe observed the government should avoid appointing skilled medical practitioners particularly doctors and nurses to administrative and political positions. Moving a motion in the House for debate, the minister for Health Mr Juma Duni Haji attributed it to mainly lack of patriotism.
"We have been working had to improve the welfare of doctors but they still the country for greener pasture," Mr Duni said as he promised that the government was finalizing a compulsory contract to be signed by all civil servants including medical practioners to serve the government for a specific period of time before leaving.
Minister urges media to support census
THE Zanzibar Minister for Information, Tourism, Culture and Sports Mr Said Ali Mbarouk , yesterday appealed to the media to support the national population census by sensitizing the public to cooperate with census clerks.
Mr Mbarouk said this here in his speech at the opening of the three day seminar for editors and seniors journalists in Zanzibar on the upcoming national 2012 population census.
The media remains important stakeholder in development, the minister said in his speech read on his behalf by the ministry's Principal Secretary (PS) Mr Ally Mwinyikai. The minister emphasized that there was no way of attaining development without gathering relevant statistics about the population, thus making the August 26, this year exercise useful.
The Zanzibar Government Chief Statistician Mr Mohammed Hafidh said Zanzibar has moved fast in finalizing preparation for the exercise as he stressed census is not concerned with any political or religious group.
Mr Hafidh said major preparations which included mapping and setting up of counting centres were almost completed as he appealed to reporters, politicians, religious leaders and all government officers at all levels to educate the people country-wide for the general public to understand the importance of census to the national development.
"We expect the exercise will go on smoothly, as we are fully prepared, but above all people's positive response is of high significance," he said. Facilitator Ms Mayasa Mahfoudh also cleared the air on the notion that census targets to isolate certain group of people. ÒAll people including visitors, and people living with disabilities, will be counted," She added.