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Chadema Waifikisha SMZ Kwa "Pilato"

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Junius, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Junius

    Junius JF-Expert Member

    Aug 20, 2009
    Joined: Mar 11, 2009
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    Three Zanzibar residents have filed a case in the Isles’ High Court seeking an end to the voter registration exercise in Pemba over “conflicts of legal provisions”.
    The court’s registrar, Yessaya Kayange, confirmed here yesterday that he had received the file with details on the case.
    He said Hamad Mussa Yussuf, Dadi Kombo Maalim and Ali Omar Juma are challenging the now stalled exercise, adding that the procedure of having a judge assigned to deal with the case has started.
    “Zanzibar Chief Justice Hamid Mahmood Hamid is going through the file and should soon assign a judge to handle the case - Civil Suit Number 13 of 2009,” explained Kayange, without saying when hearing of the petition would begin.
    The plaintiffs name the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Zanzibar Attorney General as the defendants.
    They argue that Section 12(1)b of Zanzibar’s Election Law Number 11 of 1984 is in conflict with Article 7(1)d of the 1984 edition of the Constitution of Zanzibar and that the latter ought to prevail because it is the mother law.
    The plaintiffs also argue that the Isles Election Law requires that every Zanzibar resident aged 18 years or above must have a resident card to be eligible for registration as a voter.
    They add that the law conflicted with the Constitution, “which clearly stipulates that no one would be so registered without showing birth certificate, a Zanzibar resident card or voter’s card used in previous elections.
    The plaintiffs want the court to suspend all registration activities pending determination of their case.
    Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Yussuf told The Guardian that they had decided to take legal action because a large number of Pemba Island residents had no Zanzibar resident cards and therefore risked being denied registration as voters for the general election scheduled for late next year.
    He said local leaders popularly known here as ‘shehas’ were deliberately engaging in delaying tactics in the issuance of forms which wananchi must complete in order to get the resident cards.
    Yussuf said denying any bona fide Zanzibar resident registration as a voter was unconstitutional and ran against the Bill of Human Rights, which he quoted as stipulating that all those aged 18 years or above ought to be allowed to register and exercise their constitutional right to be voted for and to cast their votes for candidates of their choice.
    He expressed concern over the Zanzibar House of Representatives passing “such a bad law as this which clashes with the Constitution”, adding: “It is sad that this has happened in the Legislature.”
    Hamza Hassan Juma, Minister of State in the Zanzibar Chief Minister’s Office, said when asked for comment that the Isles government had no objection to the plaintiff’s move “because it is a right guaranteed by our Constitution for anyone feeling aggrieved to seek legal redress”.
    “We should give the courts the chance to perform their duties as provided for by our laws. We are ready for any eventuality,” he said, cautioning however that the move could delay the voters’ registration exercise even more.
    The registration exercise was scheduled to run from July to December for both Unguja and Pemba islands but ZEC suspended it some two weeks ago after Pemba residents threatened to boycott it unless the government issued resident cards to all those eligible.
    The European Union Head of Mission in Tanzania on Tuesday issued a statement on the “flawed elements” in the voters’ registration process in Zanzibar, calling for rectification of the irregularities.
    Pemba, famous internationally mostly as a clove-growing island, is the opposition Civic United’s stronghold.