ACT-Wazalendo calls for transparency in public spending in Zanzibar

ACT - Wzalendo's Vice chairman Mr Othman Masoud Othman addresses a rally at the Gara Gara grounds in Zanzibar on Sunday. PHOTO | COURTESY

Unguja. Opposition Party ACT-Wazalendo on Sunday reiterated the party’s stance of calling for transparency in public spending, saying they are mandated to hold the government to account.

Speaking at a rally on a rainy evening at the Gara Gara grounds, Mjini Magharib, the party’s vice chairman, Mr. Othman, said ACT Wazalendo will continue to question the use of public funds as it is his duty and the party's duty to speak for the people because without transparency, no country can develop.

"Government funds belong to the public and not to individuals, so any use of public funds requires greater transparency and integrity in the interest of the country and the people themselves, and that is why the CAG’s office is given hundreds of millions to control that expenditure," he said

According to him, it does not mean that because they are in the Government of National Unity, they should accept everything that is going on, especially at the top level of governance.

"We are often ridiculed for being in the government, but the party and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar (SMZ) are two different entities; it is our duty to hold the government to account, and through these rallies we shall ask these questions on behalf of the people whose voice needs to be heard out there," he said.

Explaining about the new Zanzibar agenda, he said the type of union that Tanzania adopted in 1964 makes even issues that are not supposed to be union matters, and that is why he sees the upcoming constitutional reforms as an opportunity to rectify some of the anomalies in the setup.

"It is a very thin line, but it has to be corrected for both parties to enjoy the fruits of the union." In the seventh phase, the Zanzibar government reached an agreement with the Chinese to construct a port here, and the funds were available, but the one with that authority, which is the union president, said no, and we ended with no port!" said Mr. Othman Masoud.

Speaking earlier, Ismail Jussa, member of the Central Committee of ACT Wazalendo, said the government has continued to make promises to the people as if the country is still in the election campaign, something he said was not a good sign.

He questioned the awarding of tenders, which he referred to as dubious and suspicious, which include the ongoing renovation of the Amani Stadium in Zanzibar and the criteria that the government used to choose the bidders who were given the job.

"The renovation of the Amani Stadium is set to improve its current seating capacity from 12,000 to 15,000, but at what cost?" he questioned.

On the other hand, he questioned the basis of the privatization of the management of Malindi Port operations and the procedure used to reach those decisions.

This was the second of the 12 rallies that the party is set to hold in both Pemba and Unguja in the next two months, with the next rally set for Sunday, June 4, in Paje.