Dar es Salaam. President Hussein Mwinyi of Zanzibar said Monday that his government has received a request for help from about 900 Ukrainians who can no longer stay at the semi-autonomous archipelago because they have run out of money and cannot go back to their country because it is currently at war with Russia.
President Mwinyi made the announcement during his monthly press briefing with journalists following a reporter’s question on what his administration was going to do to help the desperate Ukrainians who originally entered Zanzibar as tourists.
“[The government] has initiated discussions with hoteliers on how we can help these people,” President Mwinyi said. “We will help them until their government is ready to come to their assistance.”
President Mwinyi said that some hoteliers have already started helping the Ukrainians in their hotels by providing them with services without charging them.
He said in turn the government “will consider” hoteliers who provide this support to the Ukrainian nationals when it comes to tax calculations and payments.
“We consider it important to provide support to these people whose compatriots are fleeing Ukraine,” Dr Mwinyi added. “You cannot tell someone to go back to a country where those in the country are leaving.”
The security situation in Ukraine is reported to be deteriorating day after day with the hope of a ceasefire appearing very thin. Thousands of Ukrainians have been reported to seek asylum in neighbouring countries as the crisis is spilling over the country.
Determined to block what he called “NATO’s expansionism” in Eastern Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the attack against Ukraine, laying the foundation of the ongoing crisis that analysts think can only be resolved through diplomatic means.
Mr Putin orchestrated the attack under the pretext of “maintaining peace” in the Donbas area days after recognizing the independence of two separatist “republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk against the background of global condemnations coupled with sanctions from a number of Western countries.