FOR the first time in a decade top leaders of the union government met yesterday to discuss pertinent issues facing the 42-year old union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
The meeting between the Prime Minister, Mr. Edward Lowassa, and the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government Chief Minister, Mr. Shamsi Nahodha, was opened by the Vice-President, Dr. Ali Shein.
Dr Shein said the meeting was a major political milestone touching union issues since the new government came into power late last year.
I take this to be a major landmark of the fourth phase government, he said adding that the government needed such forums where top leaders met and discussed union issues in the interest of the public.
He explained that the meeting was expected to add value to the union giving it more life and vigour now that some people have started preaching to the contrary.
As a union government we have to strive to cement our union against disruptive forces, he said underlining the need to promote the union at all costs.
He said that the meeting was timely in that it would water down propaganda aimed at mudslinging the role of the union government adding that country?s widely applauded peace and tranquility owed much to the union government.
The need for a union government is felt more now than in 1964 when the two countries merged into one, the Vice-President said decrying any move to sacrifice the union for personal reasons.
He said that activities of the Tanzania Social Action Funds (TASAF) in both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar were a reflection of the role of the union for people?s social and economic development.
The opening session of the meeting was also attended by ministers and deputy ministers from both the union government and the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government.
The meeting of the premier and the Chief Ministry yesterday came in the wake of recent public concerns raised over union activities over years. President Jakaya Kikwete was heard as saying that concerns raised reflected on critical concerns of the union government.
What we need is to iron out some differences for the union to thrive, he said instructing top leaders to meet regularly and find solutions to issues posing threat to the union.