THE ruling CCM's Zanzibar presidential candidate, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, has pledged policy and legal reforms that would attract big investments in the fishing sub-sector and support small scale players.
"We aspire to introduce laws, policies and regulation to entice serious investors in the fishing industry to work with you," Dr Mwinyi told Pemba-based small scale fishermen, fish and seaweed farmers at ChakeChake's Wesha suburb.
He said despite the huge endowment of marine resources, fishermen in Pemba remain poor due to reliance on outdated fish ing gears.
"You indeed need modern tools and reliable markets for your catches," the presidential aspirant told leaders of fishing, fish and seaweed farming groups from all regions of Pemba.
Dr Mwinyi described the fishing industry as the main source of livelihood to majority Pemba Islanders, promising to accord it the status it deserves.
"There is hardly a family in Pemba without a person dealing with fishing. All Pemba residents have literally direct connection with fishing," he said.
The presidential hopeful was speaking in his newly introduced campaign style, which entails meeting special groups of voters, listening to their challenges and asking for votes.
Besides the fish dealers, Dr Mwinyi also visited traders, bodaboda riders, women, teachers and special groups- entrepreneurs and people with disabilities.
From Wesha, Dr Mwinyi walked for almost a kilometre, starting with the hilly Kibirizi road up to Chake-Mkoani, greeting and listening to wananchi.
Some lucky individuals had the opportunity for selfies with the presidential aspirant.
"This is the president we have been waiting for ...he is the man of the people," commented one Hamad Muhsin as Dr Mwinyi took a selfie with a shop attendant along Kibirizi road.
Dr Mwinyi's walk sparked curiosity in ChakeChake's central business district, attracting many people who lined up on both sides of the roads to have a glimpse of the youthful candidate.
They assured him of victory, saying: "You are our president waiting for the oath."
But, all the groups he met reminded him to emulate his union counterpart Dr John Magufuli by embracing the grassroots people.
"Please follow the footsteps of (Union) President Magufuli... don't alienate yourself from the poor once you become president," counseled Wete-based fish farmer Othman Bakar Shehe.
Pemba South Regional Chairman of Bodaboda riders Kasim Juma Hamis echoed similar sentiment, inviting the presidential seeker to meet the hustling motorbike riders once he assumes the presidency.
"We are glad to have you here today but we will need you more once you become the president of Zanzibar...we will then appreciate submitting our problems to you as our president," Mr Juma told the aspirant, assuring him of the group's votes.