BACKBENCHERS in the Zanzibar House of Representatives have raised concern over the increasing costs for the construction of ‘Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA),’ alleging corruption.
Debating the Infrastructure, Communication, and Transport Ministry budget estimates for the 2017/18 fiscal year, some backbenchers called for special House committee to probe the airport project which has been going on since 2009. “It is sad that none has been held accountable for the loss of the public funds.
More than 288bn/= has been spent on the incomplete airport yet the Ministry needs additional 144bn/=. This is the most expensive ‘small airport’ project in the World! It is unacceptable,” Mr Nadir Abdul-latif Yusuf (Chaani) complained.
Tabling the 218.8bn/- budget estimates with a plea for the House members to approve, Minister Ali Karume said the airport project which includes construction of ‘terminal II" stalled for over a year due to a lack of funds after delays to receive a loan from Exim Bank of China.
“We will soon resume the project because our discussion with Exim and the Union government as our guarantor has bared fruits,” Mr Karume said as backbenchers expressed dissatisfaction.