Police in Arusha are hunting for a group of young people believed to be CCM followers alleged to be going round, tearing up posters of opposition party candidates.
The irate gang, said to be driving in unidentified vehicles, has been reported by local residents. They also uproot flags and scribble graffiti on opposition party candidates’ pictures belonging to Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema), TLP and CUF parties.
“We have dispatched our boys to track down the culprits because tearing up other pary’s posters is against electoral regulations,” said acting regional police commander Akili Mpwapwa.
The police boss added that already one of the opposition party’s official, Nanyaro Ephata, had filed a case with the police officer in-charge of the district, Zuberi Mwombeji.
“According to a Chadema officer, the gang is being led by a person he named as Ramadhan Kalamba, a staunch CCM chair leader,” the acting RPC said, adding that the opposition leader had opened a file No. AR/IR/10/179/2010.
Meanwhile, the police were forced to use tear-gas canisters to disperse an irate crowd at the Central Market on Thursday evening when followers of two contesting parties, CCM and Chadema, started fighting over flags.
“The area has a CCM branch and Chadema followers went around to pitch their own flag and establish the party’s branch something, which irked CCM followers. In the process, a commotion and fight started,” the police officer said.
The riot squad led by inspector Daudi of the Field Force Unit, managed to bring the situation under control after over thirty minutes of combat after which three people were arrested.
Police named the suspects as Hemed Mchomba, a carpenter and resident of Sombetini, Samson Lodamini, a trader and resident of Olgilai and one Asian, Abdilah Aziz, who lives in Kwa-Mrombo area.