Tanzania’s ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party (CCM) has summoned the former Zanzibar tourism minister, Simai Mohamed Said, for questioning following his recent resignation amid alcohol shortages in the islands.
Appearing before the party’s ethics committee on Tuesday, Mr. Said refrained from disclosing the reasons behind his summons, stating, “It is normal to visit the party’s office, and I am not the spokesperson of the meetings, you can find the chairperson or the secretary general of the committee to say something,” to journalists after the meeting.
Mr. Said resigned as tourism minister two weeks prior, citing “unfavourable and disruptive working conditions.” His resignation is believed to be connected to the alcohol shortage crisis, which poses a threat to the tourism sector in one of Africa’s leading travel destinations.
The shortage has led to a nearly 100% increase in beer prices due to disruptions in the supply chain caused by a sudden change in importers.
Before stepping down, Mr. Said publicly criticized the Zanzibar Liquor Control Board (ZLCB) for mismanaging the liquor industry. However, Zanzibar’s President Hussein Mwinyi accused Mr. Said of having a conflict of interest during his tenure, citing reports linking one of Mr. Said’s relatives to an alcohol importing company whose license was not renewed.
The alcohol shortage crisis coincides with a surge in tourist arrivals in the semi-autonomous Tanzanian islands, raising concerns about the sustainability of the tourism industry. Stay tuned for further developments.