The minister made the statement yesterday while visiting various development projects in Zanzibar, a tour in which he was accompanied by Deputy Minister Hamad Hassan Chande.
“We are working hard to resolve the pending union challenges so that we focus solely on improving the living standards of the people in the Mainland and Zanzibar,” he said.
Among the projects visited by the delegation were the Kianga health center, an examination hall at Fujoni Secondary School, three classrooms and an administration block at Mahonda Secondary School in the Urban West Region. The projects are being implemented through funding from TASAF
Other projects visited were the Kinyasini market, implemented by the Market Infrastructure, Value Addition and Rural Finance (MIVARF) project and the renovated fish market through SWIOfish project funds in Nungwi area.
SWIOfish is the World Bank funded 'South-West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Project' for the Africa region, aiming to improve the management effectiveness of selected priority fisheries at the regional, national and community level.
To further strengthen the union, project managers need to carefully manage the funds provided by the Union government for the implementation of various projects in order to bring good results, he urged.
“I am delighted to visit these projects and find that they are being implemented effectively. Your technical teams have work to do in ensuring the projects are at par with value for money criteria,” he stated
Khalid Bakari Hamran, the director of government coordination for Union Affairs in Zanzibar urged residents to identify projects that they have noticed challenges so that proper implementation is exercised.
The Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) disbursement of funds had increased from 12bn/- to 21.2bn/- in the past year, enabling the department to continue implementing social projects in health, education and water sectors, he affirmed.
In October last year, the government announced that it had resolved and removed five issues off the list of contentious union matters. The issues unveiled at State House Dar es Salaam at a meeting for signing of the removal protocol included the Union and Zanzibar governments’ Joint Committee oil and gas exploration and exploitation.
Others were agreements on costs to import cargo from Zanzibar at the port of Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar’s participation in the East African Community as well as involvement in international and regional issues.
Then Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office (Environment and Union) Mussa Azan Zungu named the pending issues as challenges of milk importation from Zanzibar; appointing Tanzania Revenue Appeal Tribunal board member from Zanzibar; appointment of the Tanzania Insurance Deposits Board member from Zanzibar.
Others were the supervision of phone services tax calculation and collection by Zanzibar Revenue Board (ZRB); formation of the Joint Financial Commission’ along with issues of vehicles registration and revenue division between the two sides.
Speaking yesterday, Jafo signaled that the work has been going on and resolution agreement is looming.