EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENT ON AFRICA INTELLIGENCE
WEST WARNED ABOUT ZANZIBAR ELECTION PROCESS
VOTE RIGGING AND ELECTION VIOLENCE IN ZANZIBAR
The Washington-based political and business intelligence firm, Calabar Consulting, is waging a major campaign to inform the West about how the CCM is manipulating to foil votes for the CUF opposition in the parliamentary and presidential elections on 25 October.
On 21 September, Calabar Consulting sent a note which The Indian Ocean Newsletter has obtained (click here), to the Canadian vice consul, Jeanette Patterson, listing the CCM’s numerous election fraud strategies and violence against opposition activists.
The firm, run by the former director of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Phillip van Niekerk, also alerted the head of the European Union delegation to Tanzania, Ceriani Sebregondi Filiberto, about the situation on 26 August. The organisation mentions CCM pressure on the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the lack of transparency in the vote counting stations.
The Indian Ocean Newsletter has learnt from sources inside the ZEC that its chairman, Jecha Salim Jecha, is against the votes being recorded on-line. He insists that the results should be transmitted on spreadsheet files and consolidated centrally, even though this solution is reputed less reliable. In 2010, CCM won the election in Zanzibar with a margin of just 3,
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VOTE RIGGING AND ELECTION VIOLENCE IN ZANZIBAR
1. Disenfranchisement of CUF supporters: In order to register as a voter in Zanzibar, one has to have
a Zanzibari identity card. These ID's are issued by the Directorate for Registration of Zanzibari
Residents after one has been cleared by a local village or street headman (known as 'Sheha').
However, this process has proven to be flawed and on several occasion used as a political tool by the ruling party. A CUF survey has recorded over 44,000 people to date that have been denied clearance by Shehas and therefore denied their ZAN ID's and as a result cannot register to vote.
Given the close competition in the last four elections (in 2010 the CCM presidential candidate was declared winner with a margin of 3,471 votes), the disenfranchisement of 44,000 opposition supporters is an efficient tool to rig elections even before votes are cast.
2. Intimidation and violence: This has been characteristic of all elections in Zanzibar since 1995. In 2001, at least 65 people were killed after police and paramilitary forces opened fire against peaceful
protesters. The exception was the 2010 elections, which took place after a peace and reconciliation
agreement was reached between the former president Dr. Amani Karume and CUF leader Maalim
Seif Sharif Hamad. However, it now seems like Zanzibar is witnessing the return of the old days, with
election violence and intimidation resurfacing again, and on a big scale. Information obtained from
reliable sources within the ruling CCM says that plans are underway to engage in violence during the
last days of campaigning in order to scare away CUF supporters from going to vote on The months of June and July this year already saw police and paramilitary units (KMKM, JKU, KVZ, MF and KZU)
unleashing a systematic campaign of violence and intimidation against CUF supporters who were presenting themselves for registration, and CUF registration agents who were questioning illegal voters brought in on trucks by CCM. Several incidents of beatings, illegal arrests and rape, were reported. On July 4, 2015, police fired live ammunitions against CUF supporters in Makunduchi,
Zanzibar South District, who were resisting registration of illegal voters brought in from outside the
constituency and two persons, Kheri Makame Hassan and Ramadhan Hija Hassan, were seriously injured. According to high‐ranking sources within the CCM, the party machine has set up camps across Zanzibar where hundreds of their youths are kept and trained on “how to use violence for election purposes.” These are infamously referred to as "Janjaweed". There are four camps so far which are located at Tunguu (the most notorious one which they refer to as SCENARIO with 900 youths), Dunga (150 youths), Welezo (200 youths), Amani (CCM regional headquarters with 300 youths) with plans to add four more at Kilombero, Pangatupu, Bumbwini and Makunduchi.
3. Refusal of Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) to undertake an open and credible electronic verification of the Voters' Register: Zanzibar has used biometric features (fingerprints) to conduct
voter registration since 2009. These could have been used to do a thorough electronic verification to reveal any multiple registrations. However, to date the ZEC has refused to do so with fear of being
exposed. In the 2005 elections, development partners through UNDP had called for verification and a South African company, Waymark InfoTech, was hired to do the job. A sample verification of 30,000 entries had revealed that 16 per cent of them were people who had registered more than once. Furthermore, CUF's own manual verification conducted in 2014 revealed almost 10,000 names of deceased voters who are yet to be removed from the register, but have instead been used to boost CCM numbers on election day.
4. Gerrymandering: The re‐drawing of constituencies' boundaries is an established method, used by the CCM, to help secure seats in geographical areas that would otherwise have gone against the party. With less than two months to go before the elections, ZEC recently announced new boundaries, and increased the constituencies from 50 to 54. The new boundaries were drawn in a
way that spreads CUF strongholds into several constituencies, while at the same time concentrating
CCM supporters in one constituency.
5. Potential displacement of voters: With the new constituencies just announced, many voters to date don't know which constituency they belong to. In Zanzibar, constituencies are made up of administrative units called Shehias which are decided by the President's Office (Regional
Administration). When new the constituencies and boundaries were announced, the government
through the President's Office, also announced the split of several existing Shehias into two or more.
Now voters who were registered based on their old Shehias do not know where they belong. This is another attempt to displace voters and create confusion on voting day, with instances of people not finding their names on the voters' roll. This practice has been reported in many African countries
during elections, not only in Zanzibar, though it has proved particularly efficient here on the isles.
CUF has since has written to ZEC asking to be given the boundaries of the new constituencies and the
Shehia administrative units. To date, less than two months before the elections, there has been no reply.
6. Separate days of voting: There are plans suggested by the CCM to pressurize ZEC into organizing
separate days of voting for the members of the security forces, police and Zanzibar paramilitary
units, and the general public. The purposes of these plans are twofold: The first is to have the
security forces free for use on the election day to unleash a potential campaign of violence and
intimidation; and the second reason is so that they can have the possibility to vote again and thus
increase the numbers of Furthermore, having a closed voting for the security forces could be used to intimidate more junior members within the forces against voting for the opposition for fear of going against their more senior officers. CUF has written an official complaint about the proposed split
voting days to ZEC and warned it against entertaining such plans. To date, less than two months
before the elections, there has