Tanzania: Police Return Poll Tallying Devices

Police has handed back to the Legal and Human rights Centre (LHRC) electronic equipment it seized during last year's General Election.

Speaking shortly after receiving the devices, the LHRC executive director, Dr Helen Kijo-Bisimba, said they were called by the police on Friday to go to the Central Police Station to collect their equipment.

Dr Kijo-Bisimba said the seizure their working tools derailed operation at the LHRC. The equipment which were handed back, include 24 computers, three laptops and 25 smart phones.

The LHRC director of Advocacy and Reforms, Ms Anna Henga, said the centre would hold a meeting today to discuss the way forward after they were handed back their devices.

"We will meet tomorrow (today) to discuss the way forward; we might consider taking legal action against the police for holding our devices without pressing charges against us," Ms Henga said.

It was at around 2pm on October 30, last year, when police officers raided and seized 24 computers from an office used by the Tanzanian Civil Society Consortium on Election Observation (Tacceo) to receive election reports from various regions.

The armed police officers stormed the centre located within the LHRC offices at Mbezi Beach in the city and the dramatic arrest lasted for about five hours following arguments between the law enfrocers and officials of the centre.

When the police officers stormed the centre, they locked in data clerks in the room and ordered them to pack all computers and mobile phones into boxes so that they could take them to the Central Police Station for investigation.

The incident came just four days after the Police raided vote-tallying centres used by the main opposition Chadema.

Source: The Citizen