PLANS are underway to develop 14 new satellite towns in Zanzibar, with CCM presidential candidate, Dr Hussein Mwinyi pledging to firmly oversee the successful execution of the programme if elected.
"Congratulation for the excellent job, this will never be the end, if Zanzibaris elect me your successor I will carry on your vision," Dr Mwinyi applauded President Ali Mohamed Shein during the official launch of newly constructed Kwahani town yesterday.
The presidential hopeful said improvement of settlements for all Zanzibaris is key in the government resolve to uplift the social and economic status of wananchi.
"You have done justice to your position Mr President, you have completed your tenure and performed what is good for the nation, we wish you a comfortable retirement," Dr Mwinyi said.
He described the imposing structures as a catalyst and incentive to wananchi to willingly vacate their homes to pave way for execution of similar future projects.
"If elected, I will accomplish your dream to connect Kwahani and Kariakoo with modern housing," the presidency seeker told Dr Shein.
President Shein depicted the five towers with the capacity of accommodating 70 families as a continuation of Zanzibar's first President the late Abeid Aman Karume to provide all Zanzibaris with decent housing.
He said the government plans to develop 14 new towns in Unguja, "through the construction of similar or taller buildings than these."
Other envisaged towns, which will elevate the status of Zanzibar city, include Mkokotoni, Chwaka and Chumbuni, according to Dr Shein.
However, the president challenged the house occupants to adore and preserve the structures for the current and future generations, saying: "These houses are yours, please love and conserve them...you should all live in love and harmony,", while presenting keys to the first three house occupants.
In attendance, Finance and Planning Minister Ambassador Mohamed Ramia Abdiwawa whose portfolio is overseeing the project said the 20bn/- Kwahani town project is only the beginning of the government drive to transform settlements for Zanzibaris.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Khamis Mussa said each of the five towers has 14 flats, explaining that the new town will accommodate 70 families. Besides accommodation, the project also provides for business frames.
He said the 55 families, which were evicted from the area to provide space for the project will be given the first priority, insisting: "None of the ministry officials will get space here unless they have their houses demolished as well."
The ministry chief executive said the project whose construction works have reached 90 per cent has already consumed about 11bn/- out of the budgeted 20bn/-.
Only one tower has been completed, with construction of the remaining four scheduled for conclusion by December this year.
The town will have an underground 1,000,000-litre water reservoir and 250,000-litre tank to guarantee reliable water supply to the town residents and surrounding communities, Mr Mussa said.
Similar project for Pemba residents is on the pipeline and according to the permanent secretary, 20bn/- has already been allocated. "Decent settlements for all citizens are our sustainable goal, budgets will be allocated annually," he said.