Wednesday, October 28, 2015

CUF urges calm as Z’bar awaits results

Civic United Front Zanzibar deputy secretary

Civic United Front Zanzibar deputy secretary general Nassor Ahmed Mazrui speaks at a press conference in Unguja yesterday. With him is former Reconciliation Committee member Mansoor Yussuf Himid. PHOTO | SALIM SHAO 

Zanzibar. The Civic United Front (CUF) yesterday urged its supporters and other Zanzibaris in general to remain calm, maintain the peace as they wait for presidential results.

The party asked supporters to be patient as it was preparing to work with every Zanzibari regardless of political affiliations to build the country.

Tension engulfed Bwawani Hotel in Zanzibar yesterday following the unexpected heavy presence of Tanzania Peoples’ Defence Forces (TPDF) personnel at the tourist hotel where the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) tallies presidential results.

Party officials, journalists and election observers who were in the hotel waiting for updates on the results went into panic upon seing soldiers moving around the hotel building.

The army men, however, started vacating the area hours later. Only a few could been seen by yesterday night.

ZEC yesterday postponed releasing updates of presidential election results, promising to continue with the exercise today at 10am.

Yesterday, the main opposition CUF said it had written to ZEC chairman Jecha Salum Jecha over the delay in announcing the electoral results for the third day.

Speaking to reporters at the  CUF main office, the party’s deputy secretary general, Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, said the purpose of the letter was to find out when ZEC would declare the winner of the Isles presidency.

In accordance with Section 42 (4) of Zanzibar’s Election Act, presidential election results must be announced within three days after the voting. “We have informed him that we would also like to know about procedures of swearing in a new president soon after the results are announced,” said Mr Mazrui.

The party asked the ZEC chairman to provide it with satisfactory answers, saying the world’s eyes and ears were looking at and listening to Zanzibar’s General Election respectively and Tanzania as whole.

“The whole world wants to know how we will conduct this election and respect the decision of wananchi through the ballot box,” he said.

However, CUF said on Monday at around 9pm it received information that ZEC chairman said he was feeling sick, therefore, he would not be able to sign election result forms verified by the electoral body’s officials and candidates’ agents.

“After that, the chairman hesitated to continue announcing the results. Until yesterday (on Monday) night the results for 13 constituencies only had been announced,” said Mr Mazrui.

Mr Mazrui said there had been a deliberate strategy by the ruling party, as the results announced so far concerned the constituencies won by CCM.

“Among 13 constituencies whose results were announced yesterday, only Malindi, which CUF was leading, was announced. It is surprising that until now ZEC has not announced results  for any constituency in  Pemba,” Mr Mazrui added.

He said the results for Unguja’s other eight constituencies together with that of Malindi showed CUF was leading, claiming  that the delay implied there is intention to purport that CCM was leading, which, he said was not true.

“May be there is rigging is taking place in constituencies where CUF is leading,” he charged.