- Published on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 02:29
- Written by ISSA YUSSUF in Zanzibar
- Hits: 995
ZANZIBAR has restricted foreign companies from exploring for oil and gas, Minister of State Mohammed Aboud Mohammed told the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
He said this after some legislators had demanded for immediate removal of oil and natural gas from the list of Union matters. He assured the law makers that the issue would soon be solved.
During questions and answer session, legislators Ismail Jussa Ladu (CUF-Mjimkongwe), and Salmin Awadhi Salmin (CCM-Magomeni), expressed their concerns over delaying the process of removing the oil and natural gas matters from Union list in accordance with 2009 House of Representatives resolution.
“The Government of National Unity (GNU) promised that it will solve the problem within four months. But we are in fifth month and nothing has been done. What is the problem?” wondered Mr Ladu. Responding to the concerns, the minister said that the Zanzibar government had sent a notification letter to the Union Government, informing it that any contract with a foreign company to explore oil and natural gas in Zanzibar territory would not be accepted.
“I would like to assure members of the House and Zanzibaris in general that we, officers in the government, will do all it takes to safeguard the interest of Zanzibaris. We cannot act contrary to your wishes,” said Mr Mohammed. The minister said: “On several occasions President Jakaya Kikwete has acknowledged that there is a problem in connection with Zanzibar’s demands for oil and natural gas autonomy. This is an indication that Zanzibar’s demands will be considered.