Security forces should show restraint in Isles poll re-run

15Mar 2016
David Kisanga
The Guardian
Security forces should show restraint in Isles poll re-run

RELIGIOUS leaders have cautioned security forces in Zanzibar against massive use of force during the forthcoming poll re-run, urging it to exercise restraint rather than intimidate people.

ZEC chairman Jecha Salum Jecha

Zanzibar is expected to hold repeat elections this coming Sunday (March 20) after the nullification of the October 25 General Election by Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairman Jecha Salim Jecha.

The statement was made by jointly by clerics over the weekend at a meeting of faith leaders from the Mainland, Unguja and Pemba in Zanzibar to consolidate support and participation in the launch of a programme on dialogue with community radios.

The meeting which was organised by Inter Religious Council for Peace Tanzania (IRCPT) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) saw the participation of the Global Peace Foundation Tanzania chapter country director Martha Nghambi who called for peace in the coming elections in Zanzibar.

Dar es Salaam Sheikh and the chairman of Dar es Salaam Inter Religious Peace Committee, Alhaji Mussa Salim, said security forces needed to identify and take proper actions against any breach of peace so that citizens could live in peace.

He called on security forces to promptly take legal action against perpetrators of breach of peace.

“Security forces should respect and ensure peace and harmony for both those who would want to participate and those who see no need to do so,” he stressed.

Sheikh Salim also said citizens should take responsibility in protecting peace, since it is their spiritual and social duty.

He, however, said Religious leaders would like to congratulate Tanzanians in Zanzibar for tolerance and maintaining peace during and after the elections.

Sheikh Salim wanted religious leaders to dissociate themselves from politics and play their role to maintain religious harmony and be an example while advocating for peace.

For his part, the IRCPT director, Rev. Thomas God said political parties should refrain from issuing wrong statements and misinformation in order to maintain peace.

He said it was everyone’s duty to protect and maintain peace for the sake of the country and its people.