Monday, 20 September 2010 09:19
by Mkinga Mkinga, Pemba
The Civic United Front (CUF) presidential candidate in Zanzibar, Mr Seif Shariff Hamad, has promised to liberalise the clove market if he is elected.
Speaking to thousands of people at Tibirinzi grounds in Chakechake, Pemba, Mr Hamad said the first decree that he woule sign after being sworn in would be to allow each farmer to sale his cloves where he likes.
He said he would review the functions of the Zanzibar State Trading Corporation (ZSTC) and establish a one-stop centre that would end bureaucracy in the clove trade.
Mr Hamad said according to research Zanzibar loses a lot of investors just because of the bureaucracy. He said it takes up to six months for an investor to have all documents signed and granted licences for doing business. He said this is different from other developing countries which have simplified processes to register new investors.
“One stop centre will enable investors to complete all processes within short time and setting their investment for Zanzibar development. Investors currently are delayed because there are many institutions dealing with licensing and registering them,” he said.
Mr Hamad, who was addressing a first campaign in his native Pemba island believed to the CUF stronghold, said he was also going to capitalise on the recent political reconciliation to turn Zanzibar economy.
He told the rally that even investors have been pleased with recent developments in the country and they have shown their readiness to invest as there will be no more political turmoil in the Isles.
He said his government would also focus on reducing government expenditure, an option which will ultimately see the government saving a lot of money.
Specifically, he said, he will put more controls on procurement and tendering process, where most of the government officials have been benefiting.
“I’m irked by how we lose a lot of money in two areas of tendering and procurement. I warn those who have been benefiting from these two areas to find other occupations as I will not tolerate them in my government,” Mr Hamad said.
He also insisted on improving the Zanzibar port by making sure it becomes a free port which would attract more shipping lines. He said there are surveys going on to see if Mkumbuu natural harbour can be developed.
“Establishing a free port will not be a new thing as ten years ago Zanzibar was a free port and we were collecting then Sh7 billion every month compared to now where the collection has gone down to Sh800 million a month,” Mr Hamad noted.
Mr Hamad pledged to easy transport between Pemba and Unguja islands through fast ferries as there were many people who wanted to invest in the area.
He said if the small port will be established in Mkokotoni in Unguja and Mkoani in Pemba it will enable farmers to sell their products.
“Now people have no reliable markets due to lack of reliable transport between the islands,” he said.
The new government under CUIF would also establish a system that would enable common wananchi to directly post their queries to the government which will be answered promptly.
He said such system would create an opportunity for people to put make the government which they have put in power responsible and accountable to them.
Before the political rally, Mr Hamad received a red carpet welcome by thousands of people who turned at the Karume Airport in Pemba and conducted a peaceful demonstration to Tibirinzi grounds.
Source: The Citizen