Dar es Salaam. The decision of the minister of Tourism and Natural resources, Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla, to appoint a 21-member team to promote tourism, 16 members from Mainland Tanzania and five from Zanzibar, has sparked off controversy.
The 21-member team appointed on December 10, this year. Debating in the House of Representatives, Tunguu constituency representative Simai Mohamed Said condemned Dr Kigwangalla’s decision, saying he was supposed to consult his Zanzibar counterpart Rashid Ali Juma.
According to him, the House of Representatives was unsure of the capacity of the appointees from Zanzibar on effectively promoting the tourism sector, which earns the country about 20 per cent of isles’ GDP.
“Before appointment, the two ministers on the docket were supposed to meet and discuss the names to be included in the task force, but the Mainland minister skipped this process,” said Mr Said.
For his part, Mr Juma said Dr Kigwangalla was performing his duties of initiating a strategy to promote tourism abroad and that he had the support from the Revolutionary Government.
He said the isles ministry was waiting for feedback from the Mainland counterpart on issues that would need a joint decision for further implementation.
“Dr Kigwangalla was doing his job according the law and we hope Union issues will raised by the team so that we can sit together and discuss them,” said the minister.
Earlier on December 8, Dr Kigwangalla appointed 16 members of the destination branding committee from Mainland Tanzania, but it was criticised for excluding the other part of the Union.
Immediately, the ministry updated the list with five members from Zanzibar, which, however, received another criticism over the involvement of Zanzibar’s minister of Information, Tourism, Culture and Sports, Mr Juma.
On Tuesday, Dr Kigwangalla clarified that the committee was formed to write a technical proposal on how best should the sector be promoted and the next step would be sitting together with his Zanzibar counterpart Juma.
According to him, the team is expected to do an in-depth research and collect stakeholders’ opinion on the best way to promote tourism and move forward the sector for the betterment of Tanzania.