Isles Second Vice President Seif Ali Iddi

Second Vice-President Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi on Friday called on Members of Zanzibar House of Representatives and community leaders to jointly work together in stopping the continuing illegal land deals.

He highlighted the matter when moving a motion for the adjournment of the House until March 28, this year. All the legislators accepted to go for recess after the Speaker, Mr Pandu Ameir Kificho asked them whether they were in favour of the adjournment.

“The growing land disputes are a big threat to the current unity, peace and stability in the islands. Greedy people and dishonest community leaders such as councilors and Shehas should be sidelined,” Seif said as legislators applauded him for the statement.

The vice-president also admitted that good prices offered by investors had fuelled land disputes.”Now people including greedy leaders use illegal methods to sell plots of land dishonestly so that they get money. Let us work together to make sure that land disputes end in our society.”

He also called on people to join hands with the government on climate change adaption and mitigation by protecting the environment.

“We are vulnerable to climate change, therefore illegal quarrying, illegal methods of fishing, cutting down of trees and damage of coral reefs, put our islands at risk,” he said.

Seif, spokesperson of the government in the House, appealed to residents in Zanzibar to show support for the upcoming national census and the new union constitution by full participation.

In his speech, Ambassador Seif also asked Zanzibaris to support government’s efforts in developing agriculture with the aim of increasing food production. “Our strategy is to record 250,000 tourists by 2015 from 175,670 recorded last year,” he said.

Meanwhile, before adjourning the House, the Second Vice-President praised clove farmers for a record harvest of the cloves this year. “The government through Zanzibar State Trading Corporation (ZSTC) bought 4,479 tons of cloves from farmers at the cost 66.95b/- by last Wednesday,” he said.

Speaking about comforting victims of last September Mv Spice Islanders disaster, Seif said that more than 1.2bn/ had been collected from mourners and sympathizers.

“The fund is safe in PBZ bank and will be distributed to the victims. We are also determined to improve transport and enforcement of the marine safety regulations,” he said.

[B]More than 100 people fell from clove trees in Zanzibar[/B]

A TOTAL of 113 people fell during the cloves harvest season this year, the deputy minister of trade, industries and marketing, Ms Thuwaiba Kissasi informed the House on Friday.

Responding to a question from Jaku Hashim Ayoub (CCM-Muyuni), the deputy minister said one person died and the others who suffered the same fate would be compensated.

“We are discussing with the Ministry of Health to find an appropriate way to compensate the victims,” said Thuwaiba. Clove is the leading crop and foreign export earner for Zanzibar.

The deputy minister also said that the establishment of clove development fund in the near future would help solve problems related to clove, including compensating people who fall from clove trees.

[B]191 students get higher learning loan in Zanzibar[/B]

ONLY 191 out of 1,603 students who applied for higher learning loan were able to get the funds, the deputy minister of education, Ms Zahra Ali Hamad said here on Friday when responding to a question from Mohamed Said Mohamed (CCM-Mpendae).

Mohamed wanted to know what the government was doing to improve education by supporting students who wanted to join higher learning institutions. Zahra said that almost all students had requested for 15bn/-, but her ministry had no funds.

“We have been doing well in education but shortage of funds hampers our efforts. In the next budget (2012/2013) we are applying to the government to increase funds so that more students can get loans,” she said.

The deputy minister also said that 201 students had applied for funds to study abroad. “But we could not support them. We ask students to apply for courses in the universities in the country which is cheaper. For exampl, a medical student requires about 75m/- to study abroad, while at home university like Muhimbili the cost may be only 25m/-,” he said.

Zahra also said that her ministry was busy renovating dilapidated schools with support from Arab Bank (BADEA) and constructing 21 new schools with support from World Bank. He added that Gender inequality in higher learning institutions in Zanzibar was narrowing. At the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), for instance, 52 per cent of the students were female and in all other higher institutions 45 per cent of the students were girls.

By ISSA YUSSUF, Tanzania Daily News

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