Tanzania: Hamad Lined Up for Prosecution

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Ernest Mangu, said yesterday that police in collaboration with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) office will arraign the Civic United Front (CUF) Secretary General, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, for allegedly mobilizing and inciting his followers to cause chaos in Zanzibar.

Mr Mangu said that whoever violates the laws of the land and other regulations will be arrested, interrogated and charged. He was speaking on the state of security in Zanzibar during an interview with a local TV station.

According to Mr Mangu, the CUF boss was conducting meetings secretly with his followers, in which he incited them to cause chaos in the isles. He said police had already interrogated him and that his file has been forwarded to the DPP for further legal measures.

"Mr Hamad was conducting meetings with his followers. He was using the opportunity to fuel violence in Zanzibar. We have already interrogated him and his file is already in the DPP's office. He might be arraigned any time," explained Mr Mangu.

He said Zanzibar was peaceful before the October 25 General Election but things changed after Mr Hamad decided to conduct secret meetings with his followers. "The state of security was good before and during October 25, General Election, that is why the election was conducted in a very peaceful manner.

But things changed after Mr Hamad started to meet his followers in secret," he emphasized. According to Mr Mangu, the CUF boss was behind a move in which some businessmen denied services to customers from other political parties.

He said since Zanzibaris were human beings, it is obvious they will understand the truth and stop politicians from dragging them into problems. "There was a time in Zanzibar when a CUF member did not attend a CCM member's funeral and vice versa.

I believe, the Zanzibaris will soon understand the truth and opt to live as one," he said. He added that police have been arresting people who are accused of uprooting crops, burning farms, houses and committing other crimes.

"Police cannot just arrest people. We deal with criminals and those who refuse to obey the law," said the police boss. He added: "Police's job is to enforce the law. Our operations do not consider political parties' ideologies or someone's status. Our job is to enforce the law.

" Commenting on the reconciliation measures, Mr Mangu said police encourage the two sides to resolve their differences through peaceful means. However, he warned that whoever thinks of solving the matter by using crime related means will face the law. On the general assessment on the state of security in Zanzibar, the police boss said so far the situation is improving.

When reached for comment, the CUF Director of Information and Publicity, Mr Salim Bimani, said Mr Hamad had been preaching peace in Zanzibar and Tanzania at large. He said CUF was shocked by the IGP's statements and that they were eagerly waiting to see police taking Mr Hamad to court.

"The IGP should stop involving himself in politics. He must stop taking sides," he said. He added that CUF was preparing to sue some government officials, including the IGP, in the International Criminal Court. He said the Police Force has greatly contributed to the ongoing chaos in Zanzibar.

Zanzibar's October 25, polls were annulled after the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) cited election irregularities. ZEC's chairman Jecha Salim Jecha said the election was null and void and that the process had violated the law.

Some of the flaws, according to Mr Jecha, included rampant disputes among agents, many votes, mainly on Pemba Island, surpassing the number of voters in the register and some candidates declaring themselves winners contrary to regulations.

A day after the elections, the then CUF Presidential Candidate, Mr Hamad, declared himself the winner. It was the fifth time that the 73-year-old had run for the presidency. The re-election took place on March 20, this year and Dr Shein emerged the winner.

However, the opposition CUF boycotted the process. The Police boss pointed an accusing finger at CUF's Hamad saying his underground movements triggered violence in Zanzibar especially after the October 25, general elections were annulled.

Source: Tanzania Daily News.