05 February 2014, Dar es Salaam – Zanzibar State House and the office of the Second Vice President are among government institutions in the Islands owing ‘Zanzibar Electricity Company (ZECO)’ more than 13.5bn/- as of December last year.
The Minister for Land, Human Settlement, Water and Energy, Mr Ramadhan Abdulla Shaaban, informed the Zanzibar House that all public offices with debts, including the Zanzibar House of Representatives and Ministry of Social Welfare, must pay as soon as possible.
“Many government institutions have not settled electricity bills for a long time, but fortunately some of the offices like Ministry of Health, airport, ZBC-radio, have paid their bills. We ask others to settle their debts,” Shaaban said.
Meanwhile the Minister has once again firmly dismissed as not true that Zanzibar owes TANESCO 70bn/-. He said the debt stood at 47.7bn/- by end of last month.
“The 70bn/- is exaggeration because some of tax like paying for EWURA, we are not supposed to pay was included. We discussed and we have agreed on the 47.7bn/-, not the 70bn/-,” the Minster emphasized.
He said that it is on record that Zanzibar was responsible for the developing of infrastructure between Ubungo-Rasikiromoni to Unguja in 1970s; therefore TANESCO has considered reducing power tariff on Zanzibar by two per cent.
Shaaban was prompted to explain to the House members after backbenchers asked the government to elaborate on debts by public institutions and what Zanzibar owes TANESCO and if Zanzibar was benefiting from the infrastructure in the mainland.
– Tanzania Daily News