Zanzibar. Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein is scheduled to grace the 54th anniversary of the Zanzibar Revolution celebrations to be held today at Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar.
Briefing journalists yesterday, Unguja West regional commissioner Ayoub Mahmoud said government officials and guests are expected to start arriving at the venue from 6am.
He further said that ahead of this year’s celebrations, a total of 13 development projects worth billions of shillings were launched. The projects will be implemented by both public and private institutions.
Mr Mahmoud also revealed that UN agencies laid foundation stones of other 5 development projects aimed at helping the country achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals.
The armed forces parade to be led by the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF), the Tanzania Police Force, to mention but a few, is also expected to entertain the audience.
Speaking about the parade, Colonel Said Khamis said that there would be a slight change in this year’s show due to the fact that the celebrations fall on a Friday.
He said the celebrations will be closed a bit earlier so as to give people an opportunity to attend Friday prayers. Hence, there will be some activities that will not be performed in this year for people to have the chance to attend the prayers.
Addressing members of 54th anniversary commemoration organising committee, Zanzibar’s Second Vice President Seif Ali Iddi said he was satisfied with the preparations and urged them to adhere to the timetable.
The Zanzibar Revolution led to the overthrow of the Sultan of Zanzibar and his mainly Arab dominated government by local African revolutionaries on January 12, 1964.
Zanzibar is an ethnically diverse state and consists of a number of islands off the east coast of Tanzania Mainland that had been granted independence by Britain in 1963.
In a series of parliamentary elections preceding independence, the Arab minority succeeded in retaining the hold on power it had inherited from Zanzibar’s former rulers as an overseas territory of Oman.
Frustrated by under-representation in Parliament despite winning 54 percent of the vote in the July 1963 election, the mainly African Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) allied itself with the left-wing Umma Party, and early on the morning of January 12, 1964 ASP under Abeid Aman Karume mobilised around 600–800 revolutionaries on the main island of Unguja (Zanzibar Island).