Tanzania police in the southeastern Lindi Region arrested 37 people after chaos erupted in Liwale and Nachingwea districts on election day.
Lindi Regional Police Commander Stanley Kulyamo told The Citizen on Friday that 13 were arrested in Liwale, while 24 others were apprehended in Nachingwea following riots that erupted on Wednesday.
“They are being interrogated as we seek to establish their roles in the fracas and bring to book those who will be directly implicated,” he said.
He said that so far, law enforcers have managed to bring order to the region and that the situation has returned to normal.
“We have beefed up security in the area as we seek to ensure the security of people and their properties,” he said.
On Wednesday, chaos erupted in the two districts, resulting in the destruction of property, including houses and vehicles.
In Liwale, two houses and three vehicles belonging to the constituency’s parliamentary candidate on the ruling CCM ticket, Mr Zuberi Kuchauka, were set ablaze.
Also burned was the house of the ruling party’s councillorship candidate, Mr Mussa Mkoyage, as well as a vehicle that is usually used for distribution of vaccination services across the area which, at that time, was distributing voting equipment and transport logistics for election officers.
Reports from Nachingwea say a police vehicle was also burned during the incidents that occurred as citizens protested initial poll results in the stations as well as announcements by poll officials which gave the ruling CCM an early lead.
In Mtama Constituency, an angry mob set ablaze the ward executive officer’s office as well as two more buildings. As a result, the vote tallying exercise was shifted to Nyangao Village a few kilometres away.
Despite the fracas, results released on Thursday evening by the Lindi Municipality Council executive director, who doubles as returning officer for the area, Mr Jomaary Saturo, gave CCM’s Halima Abdallah and Salma Kikwete victories for Lindi Urban and Mchinga constituencies respectively.
While Ms Abdallah collected 16,323 votes to defeat ACT-Wazalendo’s Isihaka Mchinjita, Ms Kikwete garnered 11,690 votes against ACT-Wazalendo’s Totomwema Cyprian who polled 5,388.
Report by Louis Kolumbia
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