[h=1][/h]Written by mwamba // 20/06/2011 // Habari // No comments ISSA YUSSUF in Zanzibar, SOME Members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives are demanding the Islands government to immediately start exploring oil and natural gas, arguing that the delay to execute it was unnecessary. Debating the 2011/2012 government budget proposal here yesterday, a number of legislators wondered why the delays when Zanzibaris have decided to own their own natural resources. Discussion and consultations with the Union government what for? We have decided that oil and natural gas is for Zanzibar and therefore exploration should begin, said one legislator. The legislators who pushed the Zanzibar government to start exploring oil and natural gas were Mr Rashid Seif Suleiman (CUF- Ziwani), Mr Assa Othman Hamad (CUF- Wete), and Mr Makame Mshimba Mbarouk (CCM- Kitope). They said that the exploration of the natural resources would enable Zanzibar get out of the current economical and social difficulties including poverty. They said as far as the current union constitution is concerned, oil and natural gas are union matters. The legislators have also asked the Zanzibar government to declare the islands as economic free zone and attract investors, saying the move would speed up development of the islands. Proclaim Zanzibar a free economic zone. We should have economic strategies to avoid heavy donor dependence since donors might be in future getting tired of us, Mr Assa said. Meanwhile Mr Mshimba voiced concern over governments commitment to elevate the standard of Mnazi- Mmoja hospital as the referral hospital, saying the hospital does not deserve since it lacks facilities. Debating the budget, the Kitope House of representative said that beginning with the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), it lacks all necessary facilities, to give it that status will be a shame to Zanzibar. He asked the government to allocate enough funds for health sector particularly improving services in hospitals including the Mnazi- Mmoja referral Hospital.