Record of Discussion during the Third Ordinary Meeting of the Institute that took place on Saturday 8 August 2009 at 9.30 AM at the Stone Town Conservation Building Conference Hall
Ms. Maryam Hamdani Chairperson of the Meeting and of the Board of Trustees
Ms. Fatma Gharib Bilal Member of the Board of Trustees
Mr. Jumbe Said Ibrahim Founding Member
Mr. Nassor Mugheiry Founding Member and Member of the Board of Trustees
Dr. Mayassa Salum Ally Member
Ms. Edith Subeti Member
Mr. Shaaban Mgambo Member
Mr. Mohammed Fakih Member
Mr. Abdillahi Yussuf Member
Mr. Ibrahim Member
Ms. Munira Said Member
Mr. Mohammed Baucha Member
Dr. Omar Khatib Juma Member
Mr. Enzi Talib Aboud Member
Mr. Muhammad Yussuf Founding Member and Secretary of the Meeting
1. Opening of the Meeting
The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Ms. Mariam Hamdani, presided over the Third Ordinary Session of the Meeting. She opened the meeting at 10.00AM by asking the Interim Executive Director, Mr. Muhammad Yussuf, to introduce new and old members of the Institute so as to allow them to get to know each other. The Interim Executive Director paid special tribute to Dr. Omar Juma Khatib, former WHO senior employee, who arrived just two days earlier from Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo; and who managed to attend the meeting despite the jet lag. He also welcomed and recognized the veteran former politician and several times cabinet Minister, Mr. Mohammed Fakih Mohammed, as one of the new members who joined the Institute. He also recognized the presence of Mr. Enzi Talib Aboud, the renowned journalist and former Director of the Zanzibar Information Services; i.e. Maelezo and welcomed him to join the Institute.
At the end of the introduction exercise, the Chairperson expressed her thanks and gratitude to the new members who joined ZIRPP and congratulated them for being accepted as full fledged members. She was looking forward to having an excellent working relationship with them in the weeks and months to come.
2. The Financial Situation of the Institute
At this juncture, the Chairperson requested the Interim Financial Manager, Mr. Jumbe Said Ibrahim, to introduce his report on the Financial Situation of the Institute. Mr. Jumbe informed the members present that the financial situation of the Institute was beginning to show some degree of improvement as more Zanzibaris are joining the Institute and are paying their fees albeit slowly. He said that as of 8 August 2009, the Institute has been able to collect a total amount of Tshs. 2,258,400/00. Out of this total amount, Tshs. 1,198,400.00 was for Membership fees; whereas Tshs. 1,060,000.00 being Voluntary Contributions from members.
On the expenditure side, Mr. Jumbe elaborated that bank charges amounted to Tshs. 2,000/00; whereas maintenance fee was Tshs. 9,000/00 and Tshs. 30,000/00 went for the purchase of two cheque books. Total expenditure was Tshs. 41,000/00. Balance, as of 8 August 2009, was Tshs. 2,217,400/00.
Finally, Mr. Jumbe concluded his remarks by urging all those Zanzibaris who were in ZIRPP’s emailing list and who have not yet submitted their formal application for membership to fill in the forms and pay up their membership fees as soon as possible. This will greatly help the Institute to raise adequate funds that would enable it to start implementing its activities with increasing efficiency and effectiveness.
After a lengthy discussion on the issue, it was overwhelmingly decided that each member should try his/her level best to persuade as many Zanzibaris as possible to apply for membership to ZIRPP as well as ensuring that they pay their membership fees in full and on time without any further delay.
3. The State of Membership
At this stage, the Chairperson asked the Interim Executive Director, Mr. Muhammad Yussuf, to introduce his report on the state of membership to the Institute. Mr. Muhammad informed the members present that so far the Institute has been able to register a total of 32 members being residents of Zanzibar and a total of 4 members who resided outside Zanzibar. In other words, as of 8 August2009, the Institute had a total membership of 36 Zanzibaris. He said this was a very low number compared to a total of over 200 Zanzibaris and non-Zanzibaris alike that figured in the Institute’s emailing list. He echoed Mr. Jumbe’s urging to the effect that those Zanzibaris who have not yet filled in the application forms for membership to do so as soon as possible. He reminded the members present on the urgent need for the Institute to take necessary measures to ensure the speedy recruitment of as many members as possible in order to ensure its legitimacy and long term sustainability.
More importantly, the Interim Executive Director informed the members present that if the Institute were to recruit at least one hundred members from abroad; and who subsequently pay up their membership fees in full, then there was no doubt that the Institute would be able to amass a total of USD 13,500.00; which was an enormous amount of money that could allow the Institute to kick start its activities with increasing efficiency and effectiveness. But, unfortunately, despite numerous appeals aimed at urging Zanzibaris to fill in the application forms for membership and pay up their fees, only 4 Zanzibaris have done so from abroad.
While it was true that a significant number of Zanzibaris were applying for membership to ZIRPP, it was obvious that most of these Zanzibaris were from Zanzibar where they were required to pay only Tshs. 13,500/00 per annum. In other words, it would take a total of a little over than 1,000 Zanzibaris to come up with the same amount of cash that might otherwise be generated by only 100 Zanzibaris hailing abroad. Mr. Muhammad concluded his remarks by pointing out that while the Institute needs to recruit members from everywhere, it was also important that a significant number of Zanzibaris from abroad should be persuaded to join the Institute as quickly as possible in order to generate adequate cash to allow the Institute to stand on its feet during this critical time of its infancy.
After a lengthy deliberation on the matter by the members present, it was decided that each member should try to enlist at least two members from abroad to join the Institute.
It was also decided that a specific brochure aimed at outlining the Institute’s declared aims and objectives be printed as soon as possible in order to facilitate the recruitment campaign drive. In order to undertake this endeavour, it was also decided that a team comprised of Mr. Mohammed Khamis Baucha, Mr. Enzi Talib Aboud, Mr. Nassor Mugheiry and Muhammad Yussuf be established with the mandate of designing the brochure before its subsequent printing. The team shall report on the progress made and its recommendations at the Fourth Ordinary Meeting of the Institute scheduled to take place next month for final decision.
At this juncture, one member raised the specific issue of Dr. Haji Semboja’s request to join the Institute provided he was hired as a Senior Researcher. The meeting was made to understand that Dr. Semboja had expressed his inclination to work, initially, on a voluntary basis, until such point in time when the Institute has been able to stand on its own feet. He also had expressed optimism that as a Senior Researcher, and on the basis of his long accumulated and established experience in matters of research, he would be able to ensure that ZIRPP was awarded lucrative contracts by various Multilateral Institutions and other Bilateral Donor Governments and Agencies and therefore contribute substantially towards the possibility of rendering the Institute much more self-sustainable in the long run.
After an exhaustive deliberation by the members present, it was decided that the Institute’s focus and preference at this stage should be on recruiting qualified Zanzibaris first, before anyone else, with the view to enabling them to take up any position within the framework of the Charter. This will also help to build up their needed capacity and expertise in the field of research on a variety of public policy issues. However, in the event where a suitable Zanzibari could not be found, then the Institute may consider the merit of looking elsewhere for a qualified candidate.
4. Office Space for the Institute
The Executive Director introduced his report on measures that have so far been taken towards acquiring a building that would house the Institute’s Offices. He said that given the nature of research work and important tasks to be undertaken by the Institute, it was imperative that the Institute found a suitable building in a secluded neighbourhood where the staff can work with continued tranquillity and utmost security. Importantly, he recommended that the Institute would need adequate space for a library, a Board Room for 13 members of the Governing Council, a reception for visiting guests, and offices for at least three initial staff members, i.e. the Interim Executive Director, the Interim Financial Manager and the Executive Assistant.
The Interim Executive Director also informed members present that, in the company of Mr. Jumbe, he has had the occasion of visiting and inspecting a building near Shangani CCM Branch, as proposed by Mr. Sheraly Champsi; a Muzzamil’s newly constructed building at Mlandege as proposed by Ali Sultan; and the Late Khamis Hemed Nyuni’s house at Migombani, as proposed by the Director himself. However, given the dilapidated and filthy nature of the first building and, more specifically, its noisy location, the team concluded that the first building at Shangani was not suitable for the kind of an office space that the Institute was looking for despite the low rent of USD 200.00 a month.
On the other hand, the new Muzzamil Centre at Mlandege was, indeed, a state of the art master piece in terms of, not only its architectural design, but also because of its convenient exotic location. However, it was unthinkable that the Institute, at this critical stage of its infancy, could afford to pay the high rent of USD 1,200.00 a month, even for an office space that meets its requirement. With regard to the last building, the Director strongly believed that the house, with the modest rent of USD 500.00 per month, did, actually, meet the Institute’s requirement for an office space; both in terms of its secluded location and adequacy of space.
However, during the deliberation that ensued, there was a general consensus amongst the members present that the modest rent of USD 500.00 per month for the building was still increasingly unaffordable for the Institute at this material time when it has so far managed to collect only about Tshs. 2,258,000/00 from its few members.
After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that a team comprised of Ms. Mariam Hamdani, Fatma Gharib Bilal and Dr. Omar Khatib be constituted with the mandate of looking for a building that would house the Institute’s offices. The team’s mandate would be to examine the feasibility of getting adequate office space at Bwawani Hotel, Bombay Bazaar, Old Post Office Building at Shangani, and/or, as a last resort, Dr. Omar Juma Khatib’s two bedroom house which he offered free of rent for the use of the Institute until such point in time when it has been able to acquire its own office building. The team shall report on its findings and recommendations at the Forth Ordinary Meeting of the Institute scheduled to take place next month for final decision.
5. Programme of Work
Finally, the Chairperson requested the Interim Executive Director to introduce his recommendations on the Programme of Work for 2009/2010 of the Institute. The Director proposed that the Institute undertake studies on the Mushrooming of HIV/AIDS-related NGOs and its Impact on the Fight against the Pandemic in Zanzibar. He also proposed that a study on the 1964 Land Nationalization and Redistribution Policy and Its Impact on the Political, Socio-economic and Environmental Development of Zanzibar be included in the work programme. He also proposed the inclusion of a study on the Review of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Public Procurement Processes within the Government Institutions.
At this juncture, the Chairperson interjected by pointing out that deliberating on these issues would require a prolonged debate and too much time which the meeting did not have at that material time. She was seconded by a good number of members present. Subsequently, there was a general consensus that a special team should be appointed to prepare a 2009/2010 Programme of Work for the Institute as well as the Strategic Medium Term-Plan for the next four years.
After a lengthy and heated exchange of views between various members present, it was decided that a team comprising of Ms. Fatma Gharib Bilal, Ms. Asha Abdulla, Dr. Omar Juma Khatib and Mr. Muhammad Yussuf be constituted with the mandate of preparing a 2009/2010 programme of work for the Institute and the Strategic Medium-Term Plan (SMTP). The team is to submit its recommendations to the Forth Ordinary Meeting of the Institute scheduled to take place next month for final decision.
6. The Institute’s Next Meeting
After brief consultations amongst members present, it was unanimously decided that the Forth Ordinary Meeting of the Institute shall take place on Saturday 5 September 2009 at 9.30 AM at the same venue.
After expressing her sincere thanks and gratitude to all members present for their active participation and invaluable contributions, the Chairperson, Ms. Mariam Hamdani, closed the Third Ordinary Meeting of the Institute at 1.00 PM.
Ms. Mariam Hamdani Muhammad Yussuf