CUF: Why more police for Pemba? Hamad Mohamed Rashid, Wawi MP, (CUF) Civic United Front (CUF) has opposed government plans to beef up the police force in Pemba, claiming that the move which was started in 2008/2009 was a plan to rig the general elections next year. They said it was odd for the government to consider increasing numbers in the police force for Pemba when the few currently on the island live in poor conditions. The legislators were speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing budget session in Dodoma. Hamad Mohamed Rashid, Wawi MP, (CUF), who is also leader of the opposition in parliament, told The Guardian on Sunday that, the decision was a political one, focusing on ensuring certain people win the coming general elections. Any government bent on clinging to power will strive to increase the number of law enforcers on the pretext of improving security, he said.. According to the legislator, the government decision would bring fear to people in the isles, claiming that they have experienced police wrath before during such elections. Riziki Omar Juma (Special Seats-CUF) wondered, saying: Do we really need that number of policemen during elections only. Crime is everywhere in the country yet the government is bold enough to tell us these officers are in readiness for elections. She said the government should instead improve the living conditions of police officers and increase their allowances before recruiting any other more officers. Mkanyageni MP, Mohamed Juma Mnyaa (CUF) wondered why security was being beefed up in Pemba and not Tarime or Rorya districts in Mara Region where there are ethnic clashes. The big number of heavily armed police in Pemba threatens people and makes the voters registration exercise a whole mess. Why deploy police in Pemba where there is peace, and not Rorya and Tarime, he asked. Wete MP, Ali Said Salim (CUF) cautioned authorities that if voters registration, voting and elections results are messed up there would be a recurrence of bloodshed after next years elections as it happened in 2001. Meanwhile, Rashid further claimed that 2,100 people have been denied registration in the Permanent Voters Register (PVR). He said requiring people to provide Zanzibar living permits before getting access to PVR was unfair and asked the Union Government to intervene. Reacting to CUF claims, the government has maintained that the police force was being strengthened in order to maintain peace and order in Pemba. Tabling budget estimates for his ministry for 2009/10 mid this week, Minister for Home Affairs Lawrence Masha, said the officers will maintain peace during local governments and general elections next year. It was part of preparation on the part of the police to ensure the elections will be conducted peacefully, and according to Masha, the preparations would include the purchase of vehicles and other anti-riot devices. ``Starting 2008/09 the police force has started to implement the security strategy during local government election later this year and general election in 2010. The preparations aim to increase 7,000 police officers he said. Masha told the House that 150 new police officers will be recruited this financial year and 36 officers will undergo various training courses. The minister also said the prison department will recruit 598 new warders during this financial year, stating that 1,081 prison officers were employed last financial year. He said during 2009/10, 22 vehicles will be bought. Two buses to carry inmates for prisons in Arusha and Coast regions would be bought as well as five pick-ups for the same regions. He asked the House to approve over Sh395.34bn.