‘Z’bar govt debt goes up to 1.3trn/- in just three years’

By Guardian Reporter , The Guardian
Published at 06:00 AM Jun 11 2024
ACT-Wazalendo Vice Chairman (Zanzibar) Ismail Jussa Ladhu
Photo: File
ACT-Wazalendo Vice Chairman (Zanzibar) Ismail Jussa Ladhu

ACT-Wazalendo Vice Chairman (Zanzibar) Ismail Jussa Ladhu has said that Zanzibar government debt has reached 1.3trn/- in three years from 153bn/- during the eight-phase government.

Jussa underscored this yesterday while addressing a public meeting at Kivumbi grounds in Shauri Moyo Constituency in West Unguja Region.

He said that the debt is derived from local loans, which increase the burden on the government and Zanzibar’ taxpayers.

"The Zanzibar government debt in just three years has reached 1.3trn/- from 153bn/- in 2020, the taxpayers will be the ones who will pay because they are the one who will continue to be taxed; however, the severity of life will increase," he said.

In addition, he said that the government must re-evaluate the increase in domestic debts to eliminate the hardships facing citizens and businesses who are being taxed to reduce the price on commodities.

Speaking on the construction projects of Chuwini, Mwanakwerekwe, and Jumbi markets, he said the projects should have been managed by the council or municipality because they are the responsible bodies tasked to manage the projects according to the law, but the projects have been taken over by the central government.

He said the cost of the project has increased from 73bn/- to 102bn/- equal to an increase of 29 percent due to concerns over corruption.

"There are these three markets in Mwanakwerekwe, Jumbi, and Chuwini, the markets are the work of councils and municipalities, how is it that today the central government has suddenly intervened in the construction of markets after the contractors failed to complete the jobs," said Jussa.

Jussa said that the investigation they conducted found that the increase in the construction costs of the markets was due to construction materials being bought at a fraudulent price. For example, one bag of cement is sold for 17,000/-, but in the project, they bought it for 23,000/-, one tonne of construction steel sold at 2.5m/- but was bought for 3.2m/-” he said.

However, he said that if the ACT-Wazalendo takes power in 2025, all those involved in corrupt practices will return the money by confiscating their assets and bringing them to justice.

Mansour Yussuf Himid, the party’s member of the central committee said the goals of the revolution were to unite the people of Zanzibar to get rid of acts of discrimination, but these goals seem to be disrupted.

He said that, right now there are complaints of people being deprived of Zanzibar resident identification cards and being discriminated against in employment, this is not acceptable.

The ACT continues with its state-by-state meetings, which have been named ‘Operation Bandika Bandua’, spending a lot of time criticising and exposing acts of corruption in various projects in Zanzibar, including construction.