Parties in Voter Intimidation Claims in Igunga


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Aug 2, 2010


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Joined Aug 2, 2010
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The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)
[h=1][/h]Boniface Meena
5 September 2011
Igunga — Politicians participating in the Igunga by-election yesterday criticised the Police Force for alleged intimidation of voters.

They based their criticism on an incident on Sunday in which a police crowd control van made several rounds in Igunga town blasting its sirens.

But the officer commanding district (OCD) in Igunga, Mr Issa Muguha, wondered why politicians were worried about the car, whose main aim he claimed was to ensure safety and security.

Speaking before the returning officer, Mr Muguha asked the political parties and politicians to conduct their activities in accordance with laws, rules and regulations, noting that if they cooperated with the Police Force, the campaigns and the poll would be peaceful.

He asked all parties to observe campaign time, warning that there would be police intervention if politicians continue rallies beyond the permitted time."The vehicle has been brought here to reinforce security... I don't think that is something to worry anyone. People should be happy that we have decided to beef up security," he said.

But the politicians saw a sinister motive behind the arrival of the vehicle. In their meeting with the returning officer, they claimed that the law enforcers have been threatening wananchi by displaying their facilities. The UMD chairman in the district, Mr Lazaro Ndegaya, who is also the candidate for the party, said the police vehicle left many people anxious and worried.

The DP national secretary general, Mr Kwarrey Amoury, asked the returning officer who is also the Igunga executive director to assure Iguinga residents that all was safe. "A police siren is not a normal occurrence... the director should assure wananchi that everything is safe, otherwise many people would shun campaign rallies," he said.The Chadema director of Policy and Research,
Mr Mwita Mwikwabe Waitara, for his part said that by blasting its sirens loudly, the police vehicle indicated there was danger in the area. He said many people here were not used to such sounds and were, therefore, worried that they would be arrested or beaten if they attended political activities.


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