PRESIDENT Hussein Ali Mwinyi has appointed three members from the House of Representatives, including two opposition politicians, into his cabinet.
According to a statement from the State House signed by Chief Secretary Ms Eng Zena Ahmed Said, the appointment was made under articles 42, 43, (1) (2) and 44 of the 1984 Zanzibar constitution.
They are Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui who becomes the new Minister for Health, Social Welfare, elders, Gender and Children, Mr Omar Said Shaaban who becomes the new Minister of Trade and Industry Development and Ms Dr Saada Mkuya Salum who becomes State Minister in the First Vice President’s Office).
According to the statement, Ms Salum will assist the First Vice-President Othman Masoud Othman who took oath of office on Tuesday.
Ms Salum will, among other roles, be responsible for presenting budget proposals for the first vice-president's office in the House of Representatives, and also oversee departments (HIV/AIDS, Environment, Disabilities, and anti-illicit Drugs) operating under the office.
Mr Mazrui, a business turned politician, who will also be serving in the office of the First Vice President, is the deputy Secretary General of ACT Wazalendo. The opposition politician enters the cabinet under the arrangement of the Government of National Unity(GNU).
Mazrui also served in the first phase of former President Dr Ali Mohammed Shein as Minister of Trade and Industry from 2010 to 2015 under the same arrangement (GNU).
A young lawyer, Mr Shaaban, has been a legal consultant for the ACT-Wazalendo since 2019. It is his first-time to hold a political position. Before becoming active in the ACT-Wazalendo opposition party, he was the president of the Zanzibar Law Society (ZLS).The newly appointed cabinet ministers are expected to be sworn-in today at the State House.
Meanwhile the State House Statement also said that the oath of office today will also be administered to the new Zanzibar Revenue Board (ZRB) Commissioner Salum Yussuf Ali, who was appointed on February 10, this year.
President Mwinyi said his government will be small to minimize unnecessary expenditure, therefore his latest appointments were to fill the gaps he left vacant pending political reconciliation with ACT-Wazalendo.
In another development, President Mwinyi has invited foreign investors from Indonesia, saying Zanzibar currently has a favorable environment being improved by his eighth phase government.
In a meeting with Indonesia Ambassador to Tanzania Professor Ratlan Pardede who was on a familiarisation visit in Zanzibar and paid a courtesy call to him at the State House, Dr Mwinyi said Zanzibar was among favorite places to establish business.
"My government is fully committed to boost the economy through various ways including attracting foreign investors. This is an opportunity for investors from Indonesia too, we welcome you," Mwinyi said, adding that the government is also ready to work with other development partners in achieving the goal.
He said that the government of the United Republic of Tanzania, including Zanzibar, has a long-standing relationship and cooperation with Indonesia, especially in strengthening various developmental sectors.
According to the press release from the State House, Dr Mwinyi told Ambassador Pardede that Zanzibar has several areas of cooperation with Indonesia.
"We can work as partners in several areas including the proposed huge projects such as developing sea ports as plans are underway to develop new sea ports at Bumbwini coastal area and Maruhubi-Mpigaduri area. Investors from Indonesia can join," Dr Mwinyi said.
The president also informed the ambassador that investment opportunities are still ample in the tourism sector, commending Indonesia for supporting the establishment of a cloves bud processing plant at Mgelema village, Chake Chake, South Pemba Region.
Dr Mwinyi urged Indonesia to build a seaweed factory in Zanzibar, considering that seaweed is widely grown in the country but its farmers complain about low prices and lack of a reliable market.
Ambassador Pardede conveyed the message of condolence to President Mwinyi following the death of First Vice President Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad last month, and assured that his government will continue to support Zanzibar in strengthening its economy including promoting Zanzibar to Indonesian investors.
In addition, Ambassador Pardede congratulated President Dr Mwinyi for the good start to his regime, signaling hope and great success for the Zanzibaris.
He said Indonesia has already signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Zanzibar with a view to strengthening the historical ties and cooperation between the two sides.
The Ambassador said: "I hope investors from Indonesia will respond positively to the invitation to invest in several projects in Zanzibar including the Mangapwani / Bumbwini port project after the completion of the ongoing feasibility study."
The envoy praised Mwinyi for his ongoing efforts to bring development to the people of Zanzibar and pledged that Indonesia will continue to support the Isles considering that Indonesia and Zanzibar are both members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).