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article imageBee hives dumped at voter registration station in Zanzibar

By Damas Mwita     Sep 23, 2009 in Politics
Various unethical practices including dumping of bee hives, cutting electricity wires, throwing of rotten eggs have been reported at various stations in the ongoing voter registration exercise in Pemba - Zanzibar.
These are some of the practices rocking the voter registration process which resumed last week and several people have been nabbed for disturbing the exercise and causing unrest. According to the Pemba North Police Commissioner, Yahaya Rashid Bugi, unknown people dumped three bee hives at Kambini voter registration station in Ole Constituency. He said, at the station electricity wires connected to a machine used for registration were cut and some people, trying to register, were severely injured making it difficult for them to use their right to register for the coming general elections.
Bugi said at Kiuyu town station, chairs and tables were destroyed by unknown people and a house belonging to Salama Ali Makame (23), a Kangagani resident, Pemba North was also destroyed. Another resident whose property was destroyed is Bakar Khatibu Bakar, a Kaje Minungwini resident, Ole Constituency in Wete district, whose house was set on fire by a group of unidentified people.
Also some unknown people have burnt documents belonging to a local government leader for Kiuyu by sprinkling petrol into the house before setting it on fire. He explained further that at Minungwini station, some witchcraft practices are said to have been done where a chicken was found slaughtered and rotten eggs thrown into the room used for registration. He said police were still investigating the incidences.
It is also said that whenever Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) members in Pemba appear for registration, some Civic United Front (CUF) members invade, harass and assault them. The chairman of Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) Khatib Mwinyichande said the registration process will continue in spite of the problems experienced at various stations. He said ZEC had put on hold the exercise for a while in order to give time those with disputes to settle them, but for now the exercise will never be stopped again until it ends.
'' We decided to continue with the registration after being informed that the issue regarding identity cards had been solved,'' he added. On his part, the Zanzibar Director for the registration of residents Mohammed Juma Ame, said groups of people claiming that they have been denied identity cards are lying as the large part of the population has already been given the documents.
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