Explosion puts Z’bar security to test

05Mar 2016
David Kisanga
The Guardian
Explosion puts Z’bar security to test

As countdown to March 20 controversial rerun of election in the Isles swings on, residents of Zanzibar town were yesterday shattered by an early morning home-made bomb blast at Kisonge Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) branch in Michenzani neighbourhood.

Seif Ali Iddi...we would not tolerate infringement of peace

Though the explosion caused neither loss of life nor injuries, brought the attention of the government authorities that Zanzibar Second Vice President Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi hastened to the scene of the incident to warn the public.

He said, his government would not tolerate infringement of peace ahead of the election rerun, following nullification of the results from the earlier election in October.

He called upon the security organs in the Isles to make thorough investigation into the matter to make sure culprits are booked and sent to justice.

This is the third incident of the kind in Zanzibar since the Zanzibar Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) chairperson, Jecha Salim Jecha unilaterally cancelled the results of the October 25 election alleging it was not free and fair.

But it was the first time in history that the die-hard CCM branch, widely known for its hate assaults on opposition, was attacked in the manner reminiscent of attacks on opposition strongholds.

Earlier, two home-made bombs had exploded to cause damage of properties at strongholds of the main opposition party, Civic United Front (CUF) in the same city.

But yesterday’s incident sent shock waves to residents in the neighbourhood that they requested the government to intervene.

CCM Kisonge Secretary, Mzee Yunus said the bomb was planted under the container which is usually used to store the office’s gear, calling for the government to intensify security ahead of the election rerun.

Shaaban Said, a neighbourhood resident told The Guardian that he saw a group of youth dressed in white robes (kanzu) driving a vehicle close to a container near the CCM office, but only to hear loud explosion shortly after they had left.

“I saw them leaving the area very fast, but shortly afterwards there was a huge explosion near the container. It was so strong that it shuttered glass windows of the nearby building,” he said.

Another resident Mwajuma Seif Said said she had heard a loud burst while asleep and “later I saw a lot of people running in disarray out of their houses in fear or more explosions.”

When reached for comments, the West Urban Commissioner of Police, Mkadam Khamis Mkadam said “We are still conducting investigation to identify the culprits and bring them to justice as soon as possible,”