Tanzania: Zanzibar’s Opposition Accuses Police of Harassing Supporters

Zanzibar's main opposition party, the Civic United Front (CUF), has accused Tanzania's police of intimidating its supporters through threats of arrest.

The accusation follows Inspector General of Police Ernest Mangu's assertion last week that CUF Secretary General and three-time presidential candidate, Seif Sharif Hamad, would be arrested and charged with spreading hatred against the government.

CUF deputy Secretary General Nassor Ahmed Mazrui Thursday said the police's aim was to threaten CUF supporters and leaders who protested last year's poll results and boycotted the March 20 rerun that saw CCM's Ali Mohammed Shein retain the Zanzibar presidency.

Mr Mazrui told reporters in Dar es Salaam that Mr Hamad will not be intimidated and will continue fighting for democracy in Zanzibar through peaceful means.

"Hamad was arrested in May 9, 1989 and detained until November 3, 1991 yet this did not bar him from political activism but only made him even stronger," he said.

Last week, IG Mangu said the police will arrest and sue Mr Hamad for instigating hate among his followers towards the current regime.

Mr Hamad, who claims that he won last year's presidential election, is now on a tour broad which Mr Mazrui claimed is to persuade the international community to intervene in Zanzibar's political situation.

CUF is also accusing the Zanzibar government of human rights violations following last year's election, insisting that its presidential candidate outperformed CCM's by 25,431 votes.

The 2015 election was annulled after Zanzibar's Electoral Commission (ZEC) said there were gross irregularities in the process, including votes exceeding the number of registered voters.

The poll body chairman, Jecha Salim Jecha, announced a rerun which took place in March this year with a number of opposition parties, including CUF, boycotting it.

Source: The East African.