ACT Wazalendo launches second-leg of rallies in Zanzibar

Unguja. Opposition party ACT Wazalendo kicked off the second round of their rallies in Zanzibar on Saturday, following the completion of delegates’ conferences in both Unguja and Pemba.

Speaking at a rally in Bububu, the party’s Vice Chairman for Zanzibar, Ismail Jussa Ladhu, declared their unwavering commitment to ousting the ruling party in the next general election.

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The outspoken politician criticised various sectors where he claimed that governance was still lacking in Zanzibar, leading to the mismanagement of state resources.

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He highlighted the recent proposed budget speech delivered by Minister of Works, Communications, and Transport, Dr Khalid Salum Mohamed, where the ports authority estimated total revenue of Sh37.9 billion for the year, with expenditures reaching Sh77.4 billion.

“The rest of the Sh40 billion is going to be realized by taking a loan. Now, what was the essence of bringing in an investor who is being praised for improving efficiency at the port management, yet Zanzibaris will still have to foot the bills?” he questioned.

The Vice Chairman also raised concerns about the Pemba Airport expansion and various road construction projects in both Unguja and Pemba, which he claimed had stalled due to contractual disputes pending determination in court.

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“Last year, the union government granted Zanzibar a sovereign guarantee for the first time, allowing us to borrow over Sh1 trillion from the UK Export Finance (UKEF) to expand the Pemba Airport. But, as you might have heard, this project has come to a grinding halt because of political interference, pending a court ruling,” he said.

He emphasized that it is a project meant to unlock Pemba’s potential but is being mismanaged for personal gains, without delving into details on what had befallen the joint venture between the two companies that were awarded the tender.

In January, it was reported that the two companies were in a dispute, with the High Court in Zanzibar issuing an order to stop the implementation of the project.

Also speaking at the rally was the party’s National Chairman, Othman Massoud Othman, who stated that the people of Zanzibar are awake and cannot regress to darkness again.

“Most of the issues that we have been talking about resonate with all of them irrespective of their party affiliations, and that is why they are ready to support our journey towards achieving a new Zanzibar,” he said.

He added; “I think it was godsent for some of us to leave the government so that we may speak about some of these ills that continue to bedevil our country.”

Just like at the previous meeting with party delegates in Dunga, he reiterated that should their party come to power, all those who stole state resources would be brought to face justice.

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