No voting in Zanzibar without IDs

6 10 2009

By ISSA YUSSUF in Zanzibar, 5th October 2009 @ 12:03

THE Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) has proved that no Zanzibari will be registered as a voter for the 2010 general election without having a Zanzibar Identity Card (Zan IDs) after refusing to register the 2005 Zanzibar presidential candidate on the Jahazi-Asilia ticket Mr Mussa Haji Kitole.

“Everyone is equal before the law; anybody without Zan ID will not be registered. All those without the ID should seek from respective offices and wait for the second round of voters’ registration,” Mr Murshid Khamis Bakar, Voters Registration Officer, Unguja North A has said.

He said that the voters’ registration exercise, in its fourth week, has been going on-well with very few complaints. Efforts to get comments from Kitole proved futile yesterday as many youths continued to gather at District Commissioner’s offices for IDs.

Mr Bakar said, “There has been law turn-up of youths or new voters probably due to lack of Zan IDs. We advise them not to give-up, let them apply and they will be registered in the second round.”

He said an impressive number of people who voted in the past elections turned up to be registered. There was drastic decrease of tension. He said that there was no reason for complains, and “people should follow the election procedures.”

Despite the encouraging statements from ZEC official, many followers of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) were yet to be registered. The ZEC chairperson Mr Khatib Mwinyichande also maintained that no Zanzibari has been registered as a voter without ID, saying; “having Zan IDs is not the only qualification to get registered.”

Mr Mwinyichande was responding to allegation by CUF last week that ZEC had registered many people without Zan IDs.

“This is a serious allegation, we need CUF to provide evidence to help us with investigations,” ZEC chairperson said.

CUF has been pressing the government to relax the Zan ID elections regulation to allow more youths currently without IDs to be registered, warning that the party would boycott next year’s general elections if the conditions are not relaxed.

Source: Daily News


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