Tanzania: No Contract With Any Nation Likely to Jeopardize Zanzibar Economy, Union Hints

THE Union government yesterday affirmed in the National Assembly that it will never enter into a contract with any foreign country that affects Zanzibar' economy.

The Minister of State in the Vice President's Office (Union and Environment), Mr January Makamba, made the remark in the Parliament, creating no fears among the people of Zanzibar in the Union.

It was after concern from MagogoniConstituency Member of Parliament (MP-CCM), Dr Suleiman Ally Yussufhinting that the union government has signed a contract with the Oman government to support construction of BagamoyoPort, after the Zanzibar authority failed to get funds from it to construct NewMpigaduruPort in Unguja.

In his supplementary question, he asked how the Union government would help Zanzibar to construct new berth at the MpigaduruPort, after the planned construction remained in the papers for eight years now.

However, MrMakamba clarified that the Union government has not signed the agreement with the Oman government over the construction of the BagamoyoPort.

"Even if the union agreement would sign the agreement it would ensure it doesn't affect the economy of Zanzibar," he stated. On other hand, the two governments have been in talks over the construction of the berth at the MpigaduruPort, where the minister told the National Assembly that the talks were at final touches.

"MpigaduruPort is important, we will ensure that we are going to achieve," MrMakamba assured. Earlier, when posing his basic question,MrYussuf said Zanzibar, the way it is, require their Island's economy to come up, wherethe port is a must.

The deputy minister for State in the Vice President's Office (Union and Environment), MrMussaSima, explained that the law has entrusted the Zanzibar Port Corporation (ZPC) to develop the ports, and to run its activities, and as well market its services within and outside the country.

MrSima said the two governments of the Union have continued to cooperate on various issues to developthe ports in the country. "The cooperation has proved areas of planning for various projects and with high priorities, and hence looking for funds from the development partners to implement the projects," he said.

The deputy minister told the Parliamentarians that the two governments would continue to improve their cooperation in transport sector through regular meetings.

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