ZANZIBAR President Ali Mohamed Shein on Saturday named his 15-member cabinet, comprising mostly new faces.
Only three are old guards. In his choice of new cabinet, which we have reason to believe was carefully done owing to the circumstances on the ground, Dr Shein picked a team infused with both youth and experience and marinated with energy and zeal to serve the people.
It comprises members of several opposition political parties that took part in the Zanzibar election re-run that was boycotted by the main opposition Civic United Front (CUF). Out of 15 ministers, seven are presidential appointees to the Zanzibar House of Representatives while the remaining two are Special Seats members.
The inclusion of members of the minority opposition against all odds underlines the Isles leader’s wisdom in filling the political vacuum caused by the events leading to the polls re-run after the cancellation of the controversial election held in October, last year.
It was the kind of situation that needed great wisdom to handle without violating the constitution. Yet at the end of the day, a solution had been obtained to pick a ‘loyalist’ cabinet that comprised CCM candidates and the three others from the minority opposition parties.
President Shein and his cabinet have the unenviable task of speeding up the development of the isles in accordance with the dictates of the 2020 Development Vision.
Zanzibar is endowed with an ideal geographical location, which could make it one of the thriving trading centres in the mould of such developed global trading centres as Dubai and Singapore. Given its land limitations, the Isles could do well in its resolve to become a trade hub and international port.
Its tag as a ‘spice island’ could well be boosted with more efforts to increase production of the spice assortment for which there is a ready market. Zanzibar could as well embark on an industrialisation drive to meet the demand of various commodities for both local consumption and export market.
With its pristine Indian Ocean beaches, historical ruins, rich folklore, customs and traditions, red colobus monkeys and exotic flora and fauna, Zanzibar could compete with other well-established tourist destinations of the world.
For the new Zanzibar cabinet, sky is the limit.