Zanzibar — TOURISTS visiting Zanzibar are guaranteed of safety after police announced increased patrol in tourist attractions, including beaches.
The police have also established a ‘diplomatic police unit’ that will be tasked with maintaining the safety of people visiting the Indian Ocean semiautonomous archipelagos.
Commissioner of Police Mohamed Haji Hassan informed the media on Monday, that impromptu police ‘stop and check’ on vehicles carrying tourists has been stopped indefinitely.
The exercise has caused inconveniences to tourists driving from the city to the upcountry.
“Police are supposed to maintain the safety of citizens and visitors, we have reviewed our operations on issues linked to tourism, and have decided to stop the impromptu inspections of vehicles carrying tourists, and instead inspection will be carried out at specific areas/police stations in each region. We want the visitors to enjoy their stay in the country,” CP Hassan said.
He revealed police inspection on vehicles carrying tourists will be carried out at Jozani forest (South Unguja region), Mahonda (North Unguja region), and Mwera in Urban West region as he directed the police traffic to abide by the changes.
The police announcement follows complaints from drivers and tourists’ operators against impromptu stop by police and road blocks along the way to tourist areas.
Police changes also come as the number of arrivals from abroad has soared.
According to the police commissioner, the establishment of a diplomacy police unit will provide specialised security for tourists and Diplomats; coordinating all rapid responses; and conduct foot and mobile security patrols.
Mr Omar Khatib- tourists’ vehicle driver welcomed the changes in police operations as regard to tourism business, “We are happy because spontaneous police inspections were bad to our business because of unnecessary delays on the way.”
In a meeting with President Hussein Mwinyi recently, stakeholders in the tourism sector raised concerns over several inconveniences, as he directed respect authorities to find solutions to the challenges as soon as possible.