Muslims in Pemba conduct special prayer against ZAA decision

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More than 200 Muslims in Vitongoji Village, South Pemba Region over the weekend conducted a special prayer to condemn the Zanzibar Airports Authority (ZAA) move to appoint DNATA as the sole ground handler in Terminal III at the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA).

They say the move when effected will affect the employees who currently work with two ground handling companies  ZAT and Transworld at the AAKIA

The adherents began saying the special prayers soon after the Friday prayers at the Abuu Hanifa Mosque led by Sheikh Abdalla Ali Khamis and several other senior Muslim clerics in Pemba

Sheikh Khamis Said they had received news that more than 600 employees are on the verge of losing their jobs after the Dubai Company was appointed as the sole ground handling company at the airport’s Terminal 3 building with effect from December 1.

“In circumstances like this we raise our hands to Allah, and pray fellow Zanzibaris who are on the verge of losing their jobs,” said Sheikh Khamis.

For his part, Sheikh Othman Mohammed said the time has come for the government to take steps to address the conflict that has arisen between the Service Providers and the Zanzibar Airport Authority (ZAA) in the interest of Zanzibar and its citizens.

He said that existing ground handlers ZAT and Transworld for many years have been providing services AAKIA and there were no complaints from passengers or airlines.

“We ask the government to reconsider ZAA’s decision because our youth will be the ones who will lose their jobs and in the process affect their families,” said Sheikh Haji Shaaban.

Speaking after the Friday prayers at the same mosque, human rights activist Mr. Ali Makame Issa said they were shocked by reports of 600 people losing their jobs in Zanzibar.

He told the congregation that the Dubai owned company was appointed as the only service provider in Terminal 3 without a tender being floated something that is against the fair competition law of Zanzibar.

Mr. Issa has said that ZAA reached the decisions without taking into consideration that ZAT has a concession agreement which runs for a period of 30 years, an agreement that took effect in 2000.



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