ALL is set for the grand fete to mark the 55th anniversary of Zanzibar Revolution in Pemba today, with President Dr Mohammed Shein scheduled to lead the event.
Union President John Magufuli, members of the diplomatic corps and other dignitaries are expected to attend the historic event at Gombani Stadium in ChakeChake, Pemba.
Second Vice-President Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi said preparations for the grand event, organised for the first time in Pemba under the current government, are complete. President Ali Mohamed Shein is scheduled to be the Chief Guest.
“We are convinced with the arrangements, thanks to the organising committee,” said Iddi after inspecting Gombani Stadium where according to the programme gates will be open at 6am for people, workers, and members of the defence and security to enter for different activities
After grand parade by defence and security forces, and various shows, President Shein is expected to read his speech to the nation.
This year’s celebrations come against a background of considerable development achievements, including increase in revenue collection and a bumper harvest of cloves.
Commissioner of Police (CP) Mohamed Hassan Haji has assured Zanzibaris and visitors of security, saying, “We have taken all necessary measures to ensure that peace prevails before, during and after the celebrations.”
He said at a press conference held at his office, Zanzibar town that there are reports about some youths planning to stage illegal demonstrations outside the stadium, “We ask them not to break the law. We are on high alert.”
Meanwhile, President Shein has ordered the release of twelve prisoners on the 55th anniversary of the revolution. The pardoned inmates had been sentenced to jail terms for different undisclosed offences.
Section 59 of Zanzibar 1984 constitution empowers the President to pardon prisoners. It comes within the framework of the keenness of the President to give the pardoned prisoners a chance to start a new life.
Those who have benefited include, from Unguja Island Mushtaki Mustafa Hashim, Ramadhan Abubakar Jabu, Bakari Khamis Juma, Maulid Kheir Suleiman, Othman Ramadhan Shija, Faiz Juma Faiz, and Ali Haji Ali.
From Pemba prisoners who were granted executive clemency are Suleiman Ali Suleiman, Ali Omar Ali, Ibrahim Mbarouk Omar, Mohamed Othman Ali and Mbarouk Ali Mbarouk who were supposed to be free from yesterday January 11, 2018.
Meanwhile, 55th Revolution celebrations have been also marked by awarding 112 people, some of whom are dead, with medals for their recognised contribution in either struggle for Zanzibar independence or building the country in the past five decades.
As per Section 4 of the Presidential Affairs Law of 1993, President Ali Mohamed Shein decorated 45 senior citizens with ‘Mapinduzi medal’- an award given to people who contributed towards political development of Zanzibar either through revolution struggle or otherwise.
He also awarded 53 citizens with ‘exemplary civilian service medal’ for their outstanding service to the country, and 14 people received ‘heroes medal.’ The event attended by various dignitaries was held at the State House in the Stone Town.
The event was among this year’s activities by government to mark the revolution, and the people who received the awards include politicians, civil servants (and soldiers), sports persons, and artists.