Zanzibar — LEGISLATORS in Zanzibar are worried that part of the Isle's seaport of Malindi is submerging as the House approved over 5bn/-in the budget proposal for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Communication for 2012/2013 fiscal year after a heated debate.
Ms Shawana Bukheti Hassan (CCM- Dole) was among members of the House who expressed their fears over reports that Malindi port that was refurbished in 2004 with support from the European Union (EU) is submerging gradually.
Malindi port was originally constructed in 1925, and expanded in 1991, before the recent improvement in 2003/2008 is now congested and handles between 140,000 and 160,000 tonnes of cargo annually, which includes 25,000 tonnes of liquid cargo mainly petroleum and edible products.
"It is important not to ignore reports of the sinking port," said Shawana. Responding to concerns, the Minister for Infrastructure and Communication, Mr Rashid Seif Suleiman, said: "We have entered an agreement with a company to investigate whether or not the port is actually sinking."
The minister said that his top priority was transport safety, accountability in the ministry including war on corruption. However, some legislators were furious about shady allocation of funds and proposed that the ministry's 2012/2013 budget is cancelled, to allow reforms in ministry including replacement of executives.
Mr Ismail Jussa Ladu (CUF-Mjimkongwe) argued that a lot of public funds are swindled through dubious deals, asking President Ali Mohamed Shein to fire executives in the ministry allegedly involved.
Mr Makame Mshimba Mbarouk (CCM-Kitope), Mr Hija Hassan Hija (CUF-Kiwani), and Mr Mbarouk Wadi Mussa (CCM-Mkwajuni) raised concern over dubious allocation offunds including the discovery of ghost pensioners whowere paid over 180m/-.