The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 02 November 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on November 9, 2015

The Rendon Group


Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at or +1-202-745-4900.

Tensions in Zanzibar during Tanzania Elections


Police special forces ride in the back of a vehicle with unidentified men they have arrested in the Darajani area of Stone Town, Zanzibar on Oct. 26. PHOTO: AP

This week’s snapshot focuses on the recent general elections in Tanzania. Tanzania’s president elect, John Magufuli, was declared winner of the presidential election but opponents allege the polls were rigged. Tensions were particularly high in semi-autonomous Zanzibar and the electoral chief announced the archipelago’s poll results were annulled. International agencies and officials worry that the annulment could spark violent protests.

News summary of events during the week of 24OCT15 – 01NOV15

  • 24OCT: Tanzania voted in national presidential, general, and local elections. (WP)
  • 25OCT: Opposition party Chadema said police raided its tallying center and arrested party members after presidential and parliamentary polls closed. (Reuters)
  • 26OCT: Opposition Chadema party said police detained 40 of its volunteers. (Reuters)
  • 26OCT:  Ahead of any official announcement of results, current Vice-President Seif Sharif Hamad from the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), declared himself the winner of elections.  (AFP)
  • 26OCT: Police fired tear gas at a crowd of CUF supporters celebrating in the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar. (Reuters)
    26OCT:  Chadema party made allegations of electoral fraud in the presidential, general and local elections. (AFP)
  • 28OCT: Opposition presidential candidate Edward Lowassa called for a recount of Sunday’s election for the presidency, citing voting irregularities in the election. (Reuters)
  • 28OCT: Zanzibar’s election commission chief Jecha Salim said the results of Zanzibar’s presidential election were nullified because of alleged irregularities. (AP)
  • 29OCT: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Tanzania on its peaceful elections, while voicing concerns over the situation in Zanzibar. (Xinhua)
  • 29OCT: UK Foreign Office warned any Britons in Zanzibar to stay in their “homes or hotels” and avoid “being out on the streets.” (Telegraph)
  • 30OCT: Officials announced John Magufuli won the presidential elections with over 58 percent of votes. (AFP)
  • 30OCT: President-elect John Magufuli promised on to speed up economic growth and development in the East African nation. (Reuters)
  • 31OCT: Police and an AFP reporter said two small blasts rocked streets of Zanzibar but caused no casualties. (AFP)

Sample of Twitter handles tweeting about tensions in Zanzibar during Tanzania elections

  • @NHBranson – Nick Branson, Senior Researcher, Africa Research Institute; PhD candidate, Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS, University of London
  • @VOAVinceMakori – Vincent Makori,  Journalist based in the US; Anchor for Voice of America daily TV show, Africa 54
  • @KjetilTronvoll – Kjetil Tronvoll, Professor of peace/conflict studies and Senior Partner at International Law and Policy Institute; Political anthropologist, Africa analyst, conflict advisor
  • @Smith_RFKennedy – Jeffrey Smith, Manager of RFK Human Rights Center’s advocacy projects in sub-Saharan Africa
  • @shurufu – Omar A. Mohammed, Reporter for Quartz covering East Africa based in Dar es Salaam.

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the tensions in Zanzibar during Tanzania elections

Kitila Mkumbo, Professor of Education, University of Dar es Salaam

“This election is sending signals that it is almost impossible to dislodge C.C.M. from power. It is so much connected to the government, very much connected to people’s lives. It’s present everywhere.”

  • John Magufuli Declared Winner in Tanzania’s Presidential Election, NYT, 29OCT15

Ahmed Salim, Senior Analyst, Teneo Intelligence

“Taking a more aggressive stance against mining and gas companies is also something that resonates with the electorate, which explains why both parties have been keen on saying that their government will make corporations much more accountable so that Tanzania gets a fair share.”

  • Ruling Party Wins Tanzania Vote as Opposition Rejects Result, WSJ, 29OCT15

Nicodemus Minde, international election observer and political adviser, International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI)

“It is clear from the CUF [Civic United Front] statement that the vice chairman was not present, neither was the director of elections. The statement annulling the vote issued by the two ZEC commissioners also indicates that there was no quorum, therefore the decision by the ZEC chair Jecha Salum Jecha was unilateral and no consultation was done.”

  • ‘Democracy in Zanzibar at stake’, vote observers warn, Al Jazeera, 30OCT15

Francois Conradie, Political Analyst, NKC African Economics

“Scrapping the vote seems less provocative than calling it for the CCM’s candidate, Ali Mohamed Shein, but (opposition) supporters in Zanzibar are angry and will be further incensed when the National Electoral Commission calls the union presidency for Mr. Magufuli.”

  • Magufuli Wins Tanzania Presidency With Gas to Tax Reform Vow, Bloomberg, 29OCT15

Karuti Kanyinga, Professor, Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi

“This election present[ed] a ‘choiceless preference’ for voters. There [were] two equally strong candidates representing choices of a flawed process.”

  • Tanzania’s choiceless election has serious implications in the region, Daily Nation (Kenya), 25OCT15

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the tensions in Zanzibar during Tanzania elections

1. Tanzania Votes in Closely Contested Election

Media: Wall Street Journal

Byline: Matina Stevis

Date: 25 October 2015

NAIROBI—Tanzania went to the polls Sunday in the most closely contested election in its history and the first that poses a substantial challenge to its one-party rule.

East Africa’s most populous country and second-largest economy has been ruled by Chama Cha Mapinduzi, or CCM, whose uninterrupted dominance since the late 1970s is now challenged by a cluster of opposition parties, the biggest of which is Chadema.

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2. Tanzania counts votes as opposition warns of fraud

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 26 October 2015

Dar es Salaam, Oct 26, 2015 (AFP) – Votes were being counted Monday in what is expected to be Tanzania’s tightest election race ever, with the governing party facing the first major challenge to its dominance in decades.

But the opposition Chadema party have alleged fraud in Sunday’s presidential, general and local elections.

“There are allegations of electoral fraud,” Chadema spokesman Tumaini Makene told reporters late Sunday.

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3.  UPDATE: Zanzibar opposition claims victory in tense Tanzania poll

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 26 October 2015

Zanzibar, Tanzania, Oct 26, 2015 (AFP) – Zanzibar’s main opposition presidential candidate declared himself the winner Monday of elections on the semi-autonomous archipelago of Tanzania, ahead of any official announcement of results.

Seif Sharif Hamad from the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), the vice-president in the previous unity government, told reporters he had won Sunday’s polls, claiming to have seen official documents of final voting figures.

There has been no announcement from the Zanzibar Electoral Commission and the figures given by Seif could not be verified, but the declaration is likely to raise tensions on the islands.

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4.  UPDATE: Tanzania awaits tense presidential poll result

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 27 October 2015

Dar es Salaam, Oct 27, 2015 (AFP) – Tanzanian officials counted votes for a second day Tuesday as the election commission called for calm and warned only they can declare results.

The opposition Chadema party has alleged rigging in Sunday’s presidential, general and local elections.

On Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous archipelago which also voted for its own leader, the main opposition presidential candidate declared himself the winner on Monday, ahead of any official announcement of results.

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5.  UPDATE: Zanzibar vote annulled after fight

Media: BBC

Byline: N/A

Date: 28 October 2015

Elections in Zanzibar have been annulled for not being free and fair, the electoral chief on the Tanzanian archipelago has announced.

Rows between rival electoral commissioners had led to physical fights, Jecha Salum Jecha said.

The opposition says the vote on the islands was cancelled because it won.

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6.  UPDATE: Diplomats ‘alarmed’ by Zanzibar vote annulment

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 29 October 2015

Zanzibar, Tanzania, Oct 29, 2015 (AFP) – Foreign embassies in Tanzania have raised concerns after the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago annulled polls over irregularities, sparking tensions on the islands.

The United States embassy in Dar es Salaam said in a statement it was “gravely alarmed” at the annulment, while Britain’s High Commissioner Dianna Melrose said she was “concerned” about Zanzibar’s decision and made a “call for calm.”

Zanzibar’s electoral commission Wednesday said the vote on the Indian Ocean islands — where the 500,000 registered electorate also voted for Tanzania’s national president — must be carried out again, citing “violations of electoral law”.

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7.  Tanzania’s new leader calls for unity amid opposition fraud claims

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 30 October 2015

Dar es Salaam, Oct 30, 2015 (AFP) – Tanzania’s new leader John Magufuli called for unity Friday after winning hotly contested polls the opposition claimed to have won, and amid tensions after Zanzibar annulled polls.

“I promise to deliver my election pledges, but we need to work together. Let us strive for peace and national unity,” Magufuli said in his first speech since being declared winner of the country’s presidential poll.

Officials announced Thursday that Magufuli had won Sunday’s presidential elections with over 58 percent of votes, cementing the long-running Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party’s decades-long grip on power.

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