Tanzania: Zanzibar Borrowing Sparks Serious Debate in Parliament

Dodoma — Ubungo MP Saed Kubenea (Chadema) Tuesday challenged government in parliament seeking to know when an amendment would be enacted to allow Zanzibar to borrow for the implementation of her development projects without surety from the Union Government.

Mr Kubenea tabled the issue during a session that sat to approve the Vice President's office's budget for 2019/20 which amounts to Sh36 billion.

The MP was supported by many legislators forcing the government to issue clarifications through Deputy Finance Minister Dr Ashatu Kijaji and Prof Aderladus Kilangi.

"When will the bill to amend sections of laws in order to allow Zanzibar to borrow funds for implementing development projects come to this parliament?" Mr Kubenea questioned.

In her clarification, Dr Kijaji said, "Many issues are being discussed by experts. Currently, we are writing a document as cabinet ministers that will aid permanent resolution of this issue."

"Mr Kubenea should be patient as the government finds solutions to almost all contentious union matters and put a system in place," she added.

Speaking in Parliament, Prof Kilangi said, "Loans are union matters according to the constitution. When speaking on legal processes, we need to understand that they are accommodated in the country's constitution, therefore comprehensive homework should be done to avoid failure in future."

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