PRESIDENT Ali Mohamed Shein has ordered the release of twelve prisoners on the occasion of the 54th anniversary of the Zanzibar Revolution. The pardoned inmates had been sentenced to jail terms for a variety of offences. Section 59 of Zanzibar 1984 Constitution empowers the president to pardon prisoners.
It comes within the framework of the keenness of the President to give the pardoned prisoners chance to start a new life. Those who have benefited from the president's compassion include Abdul-Aziz Abdalla, Omar Abdalla Nuhu, Ali Khamis Mrau, Mussa Ali Vuai, Hassan Seif Khamis, Nassor Abeid Issa, Jihadi Jalala Jihadi and Edward Jemeria Magaja all from Unguja.
While from Pemba, the prisoners (officially known in Zanzibar as wanafunzi) who were granted executive clemency are Sleiman Abdalla Amir, Mtumwa Khamis, Said Seif Omar and Masoud Seif Nassor, who were supposed to be free from yesterday.
In another development, a total of 74 people, some of whom are dead were yesterday awarded with medals by President Ali Mohamed Shein as par section 4 of 1993 Presidential Affairs Law.
Among these, 43 were awarded the 'Mapinduzi medal'- an award given to people who contributed towards political development of Zanzibar either through the revolution struggle or otherwise, and 31 will receive 'exemplary civilian service medals' for their outstanding service to the country.
The planned medal event was also part of this year's activities by the government to mark the revolution. The people who received the awards include politicians, civil servants (and soldiers), sports persons, and artistes.
Meanwhile, preparations for the 54th anniversary of the Zanzibar Revolution celebrations are in full swing, second Vice President Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi has said. Thousands of people are expected this morning to fill up Amani Stadium for the celebration.
After inspecting the march-past rehearsals of the security and defence forces yesterday, Mr Iddi said he was satisfied with the parade preparations, with streets and public houses decorated with national flags and paintings.
According to the Urban-West region Commissioner (RC), Mr Ayoub Mohamed Mahmoud, ambassadors representing their countries in Tanzania and national leaders from Zanzibar and Mainland including President John Pombe Magufuli are expected to be present at the climax of the annual celebration.
"We ask people to enter the Stadium by 6:00 am. The timetable will not be too long because we want Muslims to go for Friday prayers by mid-day," said Mr Mahmoud promising security during the celebration to be coloured by traditional dances.
Prior to the climax today, national leaders including union Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, graced different events to mark the Revolution Day, annually observed on January 12, as a national holiday in the country.
President Ali Mohamed Shein was the guest of honour at the opening of the newly reconstructed Jendele-Kaibona Road, South Unguja, where he emphasized on using local contractors to minimize costs.
"We have trained our engineers. We must use them to improve infrastructure," Dr Shein said at the opening ceremony of the 6.1bn/- road supported by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA). Zanzibar government contributed 2.6bn/-.
The road event was preceded by Dr Shein opening of a newly built modern market at Kinyasini village, North Unguja, where Ms Jenista Joakim Mhagama, a Minister of State (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled), commended development partners for supporting the construction of one of the admirable markets in Tanzania.
Ms Samia urged young people to be innovative and use available opportunities to find job and avoid idleness which can drive them into unacceptable conduct like engaging in criminal acts. The Vice President delivered the message here yesterday when inaugurating 'Zanzibar Youth Council (ZYC),' to enable young people meet and share ideas for their development and the nation.
"The government recognises the importance of youth in development; it is to that reason for the establishment of vocational train1ing in different parts of the country. Use the centres to learn skills for self employment," Ms Hassan said.
ZYC was first formed in 2008, and according to the current leader of the Council Mr Khamis Rashid, more than 11,000 youths are members in respective districts, where they meet and discuss on different issues.
Prime Minister Mr Kassim Majaliwa officiated the official opening of the 4th Mapinduzi trade exhibition at Maisara ground, where he said there is still unutilised market opportunity in East Africa.
"Improve your products to compete in the region and beyond. This Zanzibar trade fair can be used to promote your goods. Invite and encourage as many companies and business people as possible to take part in future exhibition," Mr Majaliwa added.