Opposition leader kidnapped in Zanzibar two days ahead of elections

NASSOR Mazrui, a senior leader of Zanzibar’s main opposition party, ACT-Wazalendo, has been raided and kidnapped by security forces this morning.

The incident took place as Mazrui was heading to his office. According to the opposition presidential candidate, Seif Sharif Hamad, police also confiscated Mazrui’s items from his vehicle moments after the security forces had taken him to an unidentified location.

Some sources have given a hint on his whereabouts.

“We understand the security forces are working on orders from the authorities. This is unacceptable! We want him released unconditionally,” Hamad said.

Here is Hamad’s press statement on the incident.

Mazrui is the party’s deputy secretary-general. For the past one week, police and military officers have been deployed in the streets of Zanzibar to threaten the voters ahead of the election scheduled to take place on 27th and 28th October 2020.

CCM, the ruling party since independence over five decades ago, has been increasingly unpopular in recent years due to its brutal and oppressive politics. But the ruling regime is determined to remain in power by all means.

This CCTV footage shows a similar incident that took place last night, as security forces raided the office of the opposition party in Zanzibar and confiscated items including a TV set. They also vandalised the party’s flags.

Hamad is running for president against CCM’s Hussein Mwinyi, one of the sons of former president Ali Hassan Mwinyi. The situation is already violent and oppressive.

Due to the obvious oppression by the ruling regime that is colluding with the electoral commissions, this current situation looks like civil unrest in the making, not only in Zanzibar but also in the whole of Tanzania.

Police authorities have so far refrained from commenting on the matter.

Following the public outcry and incessant calls on social media for his unconditional release, Mazrui was eventually set free in the afternoon.