PRESIDENT Hussein Mwinyi is expected to grace the Uhuru torch lighting ceremony to be held today at Mwehe ground in Makunduchi, with authorities saying here yesterday that preparations for the event are complete.
Speaking at a joint press conference on the Uhuru lighting ceremony, held at the 'Sheikh Idrissa Abdulwakil Multi-purpose Hall, organising team that involves three Ministers called upon residents in South Unguja and neighboring areas to turn-out in big numbers for the function scheduled to begin at 7am this morning.
Minister of State, Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Youth, Employment and Persons with Disabled, Ms Jenista Mhagama-and her Zanzibar counterpart Dr Khalid Mohamed Salum; and the Isles Minister for Tourism and antiquities Ms Lela Mohamed Mussa explained to journalists about the development of event.
"I would like to thank members of the organising team for the good preparations. Uhuru torch is for us all Tanzanians, we should be proud of it as it unites us," Ms Mhagama said as she expressed satisfaction with preparations after inspecting the venue last Saturday.
Mhagama explained to the journalists about historical background and objectives of the Uhuru torch, and changes in this year's Uhuru torch relay that will cover 150 administrative districts instead of the normal 195 administrative councils of the Union.
"We were used to select young people from both Zanzibar and mainland to manage the race, but this year, we have decided to have young soldiers from the Peoples' Defense Forces (TPDF) to manage the race from South Unguja.
The Uhuru torch race will culminate on October 14 this year at Chato District, Geita Region," she said.
Minister Lela was at the press conference on behalf of the Minister for Information and Youth, who mentioned that the theme for this year's relay is: "ICT is the basis of a sustainable nation; use it responsibly."
South Unguja Regional Commissioner (RC) Mr Rashid Hadid Rashid said all the arrangements for the big event were complete as he appealed to people in the region and neighboring areas to turn-up in big numbers for the event.
He said that as precaution against Covid-19, the function will not last long and that the relay will last for two-day in his region before the torch is handed over to the Unguja North region, then proceed to Urban-West region and later Pemba Island before moving to Tanzania mainland.
However, the leaders did not reveal the number of projects to be inaugurated or have the foundation stone laid, because the list and projects are not ready, but will be known later.
Late President John Magufuli last year suspended Uhuru Torch race, as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, which is wreaking havoc across the globe.
The Uhuru Torch symbolises freedom and light. The Uhuru Torch race has been taking place every year starting from different places.