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Consolidating peaceful multiparty politics
Series editor:
Kjetil Tronvoll  

International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) provides analytical work, juridical briefs,
and policy advice within international law, human rights, corporate social
responsibility, governance, and country/conflict analysis.

ILPI is established with the conviction that the combination of academic excellence
and operational policy experience facilitates “hands-on” solutions and the ability to
handle complex processes and issues.

ILPI is based in Oslo, Norway, but has an extensive network of partners worldwide.


This report is commissioned by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Dar es Salaam. The views and
analysis expressed in the report are the responsibility of International Law and Policy Institute alone,
and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Embassy.

Published 15.11.2010
Copyright: ILPI
Consolidating  peaceful  multiparty  politics  


Table of contents
1   Introduction _____________________________________________________________ 4  
2   Zanzibar's Legal and Electoral System _______________________________________ 5  
2.1   Who is Eligible to Vote in the Zanzibar Election? ______________________________ 5  
3   Permanent Voter Registry (PVR) ____________________________________________ 6  
3.1   The Zanzibar ID card (ZID) Issue __________________________________________ 7  
4   ZEc Administration _______________________________________________________ 8  
4.1   The Commissioners ____________________________________________________ 8  
4.2   The Secretariat and Returning Officers _____________________________________ 9  
4.3   Constituency and Polling Station Officers____________________________________ 9  
5   Campaign _______________________________________________________________ 9  
5.1   Campaign Funding and Resources _______________________________________ 10  
5.2   Media ______________________________________________________________ 11  
5.3   Police and Security ____________________________________________________ 12  
6   ZEC’s election preparations _______________________________________________ 12  
6.1   Voter Register and Voter Cards __________________________________________ 12  
6.2   Voter Education ______________________________________________________ 13  
6.3   Equipment Preparations ________________________________________________ 13  
6.4   Party Agent and Poll Worker Training _____________________________________ 13  
7   Election day ____________________________________________________________ 14  
7.1   Room and Equipment __________________________________________________ 15  
7.1.1   Equipment related Difficulties/Challenges _______________________________ 15  
8   Counting _______________________________________________________________ 18  
8.1   Counting at Polling Stations _____________________________________________ 18  
8.2   Compiling at Constituency Level _________________________________________ 19  
8.3   Compiling at Bwawani, Unguja ___________________________________________ 22  
9   Results ________________________________________________________________ 22  
10   Reactions ______________________________________________________________ 24  
11   Recommendations_______________________________________________________ 26  
12   ILPI comment ___________________________________________________________ 27  
References ________________________________________________________________ 28  
International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) has conducted long-term electoral observation in
Zanzibar since the inception of the electoral cycle. ILPI has been present with observers on
Pemba since the beginning of July 2009, and on Unguja since October 2009.

The Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) organised and carried out a commendable election
in Zanzibar. ILPI observed few irregularities, and the atmosphere was peaceful and orderly
without any intimidation or threats by security forces or government actors. Considering the
widespread misconduct carried out during previous elections, this is a great step forward in
consolidating democracy in Zanzibar.

The process of tabulation of votes and transferring of results from district to central level,
however, apparently lacked transparency in certain locations. This could be used by some to
bring into question the legitimacy of the presidential results, in particular considering the very
narrow margin of victory of only 3,471 votes.

These aspects, along with the more detailed concerns below, cause ILPI’s conclusion on the
elections to be twofold. Firstly, we praise ZEC for an improved voter registration exercise and
a well-organised election. Secondly, we recognise that greater transparency in the last phase
of tabulation and transferring of results from district level would have improved the overall
integrity of the elections.

ILPI has observed the entire electoral cycle: from three rounds of voter registration, the
Permanent Voter Registry display and complaint process, CUF and CCM’s internal elections,
candidate selection, and registration process, and the election campaign period in full.
Furthermore, parallel to the electoral process ILPI has also followed the political reconciliation
process (maridhiano) that commenced when CUF Secretary General Maalim Seif recognized
President Karume in a State House meeting, 5 November 2009. The reconciliation process
radically changed the political climate on the isles, as it pacified escalating violent protests.
The objective to establish a government of national unity (GNU) was reconfirmed, as
enshrined in the Butiama/Bagamoyo agreement of 2008 (known as Muafaka III). In the first
House of Representatives session of 2010, CUF tabled a private motion suggesting
constitutional changes to facilitate political reconciliation and a unity government, based on
the will of the people expressed through referendum. The CCM government carried this
forward, and in April 2010 the House of Representatives amended the constitution, followed
by President Karume’s signing of the Zanzibar’s referendum act 30 April. On 31 July, Zanzibar
carried out a referendum where 66.4 percent of voters voted yes to the formation of a
government of national unity directly following the general elections held on 31 October. The
tenth constitutional amendment thus requires the formation of a Zanzibari government of
national unity following the election where the president is elected by direct vote, the first vice-
president is nominated by the runner-up party, and the second vice-president (who is
responsible for government affairs in the House of Representatives) comes from the winning
party. Ministerial portfolios will be divided proportionally based on the number of House of
Representatives seats won by each party.

The reconciliation spirit has directly impinged on the electoral process. ILPI has observed a
significant change in the immediate aftermath of the maridhiano handshake of 5 November
2009 in how people on both Unguja and Pemba participate in politics, and how the people and
their government interact. As inhabitants in the symbolic Piki village on Pemba – which
witnessed widespread violence in the 2000 and 2005 elections – explained to ILPI some
months prior to the election: “If this had been like in 2005, we would have been detained now.
Many from our villages would have escaped the islands. But now we are still here, living in
peace and harmony.”

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar


Zanzibar’s election of the President, members of the House of Representatives, and local
councils are governed by a combination of the amended 1984 Constitution of Zanzibar, the
amended Election Act No. 11 of 19841, as well as ZEC regulations.

The Zanzibar president is elected through direct popular vote. In the House of
Representatives (HoR), with a total of 81 members, 50 seats are directly elected through the
first-past-the-post single-member constituency system for a five-year term. Presidential
appointees fill another 11 seats; including two seats from the opposition and one seat for the
Zanzibar Attorney General. Special seats for women equals 40 percent of the House and are
distributed proportionally among parties that obtain more than 10 per cent of the directly
elected seats. The results of the 2010 elections give 11 women’s special seats to CCM and 9
to CUF.

In addition to voting for the Zanzibar president, and candidates for the House of
Representative and local councils, Zanzibaris also vote for the president of the Union as well
as members of the Union National Assembly. These elections were governed by the National
Election Commission (NEC) and will not be addressed in this report.


An underlying issue of contention in the political process in Zanzibar is the crucial questions of
who belong to the isles, and thus who is eligible to participate in politics and elections?

Much of the political focus has thus concentrated on drawing a line between ‘Zanzibaris’ and
‘mainlanders’ (wabara), whereof the Zanzibaris have rights both as citizens of the Tanzanian
Union and as islanders. Special prerogatives are thus given to Zanzibaris – and not
mainlanders – within the Zanzibar political realm.

According to the Election Act no 11 of 1984, section 11: “Every Zanzibari who has attained the
age of eighteen years shall, unless he is disqualified by this or any other Act, be entitled to be
registered under and accordance with the provisions of this Act as a voter.”

The status and definition of a ‘Zanzibari’, however, is somewhat ambiguous. The term
‘citizenship’ is not applied to a Zanzibari (as in ‘Zanzibari citizenship’), since citizenship is the
domain of the Union. Nevertheless, the Zanzibari status is a de facto quasi-citizenship since
certain rights and privileges are given exclusively to a ‘Zanzibari’ and not to a ‘Tanzanian’ (i.e.
‘mainlander’). It is the Zanzibar constitution – and noteworthy not the Union constitution – that
creates the status of a ‘Zanzibari’ [see Constitution Section 6.1].

The constitution provides that the attainment, loss, and re-instatement of Zanzibari status
shall be in accordance with law enacted by the House of Representatives [Section 6.2].

The definition of a Zanzibari has been a long contested issue. According to the ‘Registration
of Zanzibaris Resident Act, 2005’ section 2: “Zanzibari means a citizen of Tanzania resident in
Zanzibar as defined in the Zanzibari Act, No.5 of 1985.” The latter defines a Zanzibari as:

• Any citizen of Tanzania who resided in Zanzibar before and up to 12 January 1964
(the date of the Zanzibar revolution);
• Any citizen of Tanzania who was born in Zanzibar before 26 April 1964 (the date of
the establishment of the Tanzanian Union) by at least one Zanzibari parent;
• Any person who held Zanzibari citizenship before 26 April 1964 and has not since lost
his or her Tanzanian citizenship;
• Any citizen of Tanzania with at least one parent with Zanzibari status in accordance
with the three points above.

Incorporates all amendments made up to 2004, published in 2010 by the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar.

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

Additionally, any person who is a Tanzanian may achieve Zanzibari status by naturalization, if
that person:

• has been residing in Zanzibar for a consecutive period of ten years (previously fifteen
• has sufficient knowledge of Kiswahili;
• is of good character;
• has lawfully entered and respected all prevailing laws of Zanzibar;
• is of full age; and
• intends to continue residing in Zanzibar.

Zanzibari status is imperative in order to be eligible to register to vote in the Zanzibar

elections. The Zanzibar Constitution [Section 7] grants the right to vote in any election held in
Zanzibar to any Zanzibari over the age of eighteen, unless disqualified on grounds of criminal
conviction, non-discharged bankruptcy, or being legally of unsound mind. Further, the Election
Act no 11 of 1984 section 12.(3)(i) specifies that any person who is ordinarily a resident of a
concerned constituency shall be registered as a voter of that constituency. According to
section 12.(3)(ii): “For the purposes of this section, a person shall be deemed to be an
ordinary resident in a concerned constituency if:

a) he has a permanent residence and has been living in that constituency consecutively for a
period of 3 months from coming into force of this Act up to the election day; or
b) he resides in that constituency for employment reasons; or
c) she is a married woman or a married man and resides in that constituency as long as the
husband to that woman or wife to that man as the case may be is an ordinary resident; or
d) is another person which is a dependant of one or all the persons mentioned in paragraphs
(b) and (c); or
e) is a student residing in a boarding school recognized by the government within that

The status as a Zanzibari reflects the historical position of Zanzibar as an independent state,
without defining the “citizenship content” of this historical polity.

A new legal requirement to be allowed to register to vote in Zanzibar Elections was introduced
after the 2005 elections. According to section 12. (1) of the Election Act no 11 of 1984: “No
person shall be registered as a voter unless he: “(b): produces his identity card issued under
Act, No. 7 of 2005.” The pertaining law is the ‘Registration of Zanzibaris Resident Act, 2005’
that details the establishment of the Zanzibar ID card (ZID, also known as ZAN ID). This law
was passed 12 May 2005. The requirement of having a ZID in order to register has been a
focal point of contention throughout the 2009 and 2010 registration.


The establishment of a permanent voters’ register is specified in the Election Act section
13.(1): “There shall be a Permanent Voters’ Register for the elections of the President,
Members of the House of Representatives and Councilors.” The Zanzibar Permanent Voters’
Register (PVR) includes information of all eligible voters in accordance with the provisions of
the Election Act. According to section 13. (5) every entry into the permanent voters’ register
shall contain:

 full name of the voter;

 date of birth;
 place of residence;
 registration number;
 sex of voter;
 electoral area.

Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) registered voters in the Permanent Voter Register
(PVR) in three rounds. On Pemba the first round of registration started 5 July 2009 and ended

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

10 January 2010. On Unguja the first round of registration started 12 September and ended
14 February 2010, while the second round of registration commenced on 2 March for both
islands, and ended 2 May for Pemba, and 5 May on Unguja. The third round was held for
Zanzibaris who were struggling to get their Zanzibar ID, but had voted in the 2005 elections. A
special census of these voters was conducted for one week from 22-28 February 2010,
netting 3,043 voters. These people were then supposed to try and get their ZID in time for a
special third round of registration held on 8-9 May 2010 for these 3,043 people only.

The registration of voters has been criticized in every election since the introduction of multi-
party-politics in 1992. In the Muafaka II Accord of 2001, both parties recognized the faults of
past voters’ registration exercises on the isles: “It has been noted that the system of
registering voters at every time of elections has not been satisfactory and is also outdated.
The exercise is costly and the system is prone to fraud and dishonesty with the possibility of
registering unqualified voters” (Article B (i) of Appendix I of the Muafaka II Accord.) Based on
the negative experiences of ad hoc voter registration, it was decided to establish a Permanent
Voters’ Register (PVR), as part of the Muafaka II agreement, in order to accommodate a fair
election in 2005. However, the 2005 PVR process was severely criticized, as the PVR
allegedly included a number of ghost voters and double registrations.

The 2009 registration process was thus conducted to make a new and improved PVR,
meeting the criticism from 2005. As in the past, the 2009/10-voter registration process started
out with controversies. On Pemba the first weeks of registration was hampered by protest and
violence by sympathizers of the CUF, who claimed that the new legal requirement of having a
Zanzibar ID in order to register was unconstitutional. Many CUF members did not have a
Zanzibar ID card, and when they turned up to register for the elections they were rejected.
CUF thus encouraged their sympathizers who had Zanzibar ID cards not to go to register in
solidarity with those lacking ID cards. The frustrations over being denied to register lead to an
escalation of protests and violence, as CUF sympathizers also tried to stop CCM members
from registering. As a result of the unrest, ZEC decided to suspend the registration process on
Pemba from 5 August – 11 September, in order for Zanzibar ID authorities to issue Zan IDs to
mitigate the reason for protest. The voter registration re-commenced 12 September on Pemba
and also started simultaneously on Unguja. CUF however maintained a non-participation in
the registration, as they claimed that the Zan ID issue had not be efficiently handled by the
authorities. Mainly due to the reconciliation talks, which became public 5 November, and
attempts to resolve the ZID issue, CUF supporters returned to register in the second and third
rounds of registration, which were completed in May 2010.

As mentioned in section 2, the requirement of having a Zanzibar ID (ZID) in order to register

has been a focal point of contention throughout the 2009/10 registration process. This new
legal requirement to be registered in the Zanzibar voter registry was introduced after the 2005
election, and according to section 12. (1) of the Election Act no 11 of 1984: “No person shall
be registered as a voter unless he: “(b): produces his identity card issued under Act, No. 7 of

The law ‘Registration of Zanzibaris Resident Act, 2005’ details the establishment of the
Zanzibar ID card (ZID). It was passed 12 May 2005. According to CUF, in 2005 the
government promised the ZID would not be used in any aspect of the election process, and
they claimed they were very surprised when the ZID was a requirement for registering as a
voter in 2009/10. CUF claimed they were informed about this requirement only two weeks
prior to the start of the voter registration on Pemba. Whereas the Zanzibar Electoral
Commission said information about the ZID requirement was shared on several occasions
before, and the fact that ZID had been used in the by-election in Magogoni, Unguja in May
2009 should have made CUF aware that it would be used for the 2010 elections as well. The
political party CHADEMA filed a court case in September 2009 where they claimed the ZID
requirement is unconstitutional. This case is still pending in the Zanzibar High Court.

CUF has complained that the ZID process has been complicated, costly, and biased, leaving
many CUF supporters without a ZID. ILPI has received consistent information from a number
of people who complained that the sheha had denied them application forms for Zan ID, or
they were unable to pay for a birth certificate required to obtain a Zan ID.

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

On 5 November 2009 CUF secretary general Maalim Seif recognized the legitimate rule of
president Karume, and their State House meeting officially launched the reconciliation
process (dubbed maridhiano in Kiswahili). In the new peaceful and reconciliatory political
atmosphere, CUF members decided to register when the second round of registration started
2 March 2010. President Karume also promised that every eligible voter would be registered,
and as a response, CUF gave the president lists of 15,591 sympathizers, whom they claimed
had been denied to register because of the lack of ZID. Some of these lists were then given to
the ZID authority who claimed that most of the people on the list were lacking a birth
certificate, and were thus unqualified to register for a ZID. 26 March 2010 Maalim Seif told the
Nipashe newspaper: “20,000 Zanzibaris still don’t have their ZID.” Other CUF officials offered
a much higher number in conversations with ILPI.

Other complaints from the registration process were people being rejected by the sheha at the
registration station, despite having a ZID, because the sheha claimed that they did not belong
to the area. There were also cases of over-registration during both rounds of the registration
process. These cases included registration of under-aged voters, the registration of people
from different areas on Zanzibar, and SMZ special department troops being irregularly
transferred from one constituency to another.2

A UNDP consultant was brought in to verify the PVR system prior to the election. This
consultant checked the computer system and software. After his examination he concluded
that it was more or less impossible to tamper with the system. This was a positive step to
ensure ZEC “got what they paid for”, although the consultant did not verify that the system
was used properly, nor did he verify the PVR itself.

NEC were using ZEC’s voter registry on Zanzibar. In order to also register Tanzanians living
in Zanzibar, who were unable to register with ZEC because they are not Zanzibaris, NEC
organized a voter registration exercise in June 2010. In this NEC registration, all Zanzibaris
who were unable to register with ZEC because they did not have a Zanzibar ID card, were
also given a chance to register, and CUF mobilized their members to go and register for the
union election.

ZEC’s mandate is provided for by the chapter 9 (119.1) of the Zanzibar constitution in
combination with section 3 - 7 of the 1984 Election Act. The make up of the commission and
the secretariat has been the source of many complaints by the opposition since the
reintroduction of multiparty system in 1992. The commission was reformed in 2002 as a result
of the partially implemented second Muafaka agreement. A reform of the Secretariat, as
stipulated in the Muafaka agreement, has not taken place however, and the opposition has
continued to complain about the alleged bias of ZEC personnel and hiring practices at the
National, District, Constituency and polling station levels.


The ZEC commission is composed of a Chairman appointed by the President, two
commissioners recommended from the party with the majority in the House of
Representatives, two commissioners recommended from the opposition, one member from
the High Court, and one member as the President sees fit. The commissioners are selected
for a five-year term. The Commission’s mandate includes the overall supervision of the
conduct of elections as well as the legal powers to introduce by-laws and issue regulations.
The commission works closely with the Director of the Elections to oversee the entire electoral
process, but relies on the Director as the Chief Executive Officer of the Secretariat to hire the

For an in depth observation and analysis report on the ZEC voter registration, please refer to ILPI Report 31/2010:
“The Progress of Voter Registration in Zanzibar. Observations and Assessments.”
The Constitution of Zanzibar, 2006 Revised Edition Chapter 9, Section 119(1)

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

Returning Officers and other long term ZEC staff as well as update them on the work of the
secretariat. This makes sense from a logistical standpoint, but limits the influence of the less
partisan Commission on the conduct of ZEC and its officers.


The secretariat is responsible for the hiring and oversight of all of the District Returning
Officers, Assistant Returning Officers, Education, Information, IT and other officers who
comprise the secretariat of ZEC. The ZEC Secretariat shall perform all duties assigned by the
Commission as set out under the Election Act. According to the Election Act, Article 10,
section (1), “The Commission is also responsible to appoint for every election in every
constituency a Returning Officer and such number of Assistant Returning Officers as the
Commission may think necessary for the purpose of conducting election in the constituency.”
These officers control the day-to-day operations of ZEC and also the hiring of constituency
level staff and polling level staff.


ZEC’s hiring of the polling level staff was conducted by the Secretariat without the input of the
Commission. For the presiding officers and other poll workers, the Returning and Assistant
Returning officers worked with the constituency level officers to hire these officers. ILPI
received many complaints about this hiring process both on Unguja and Pemba. A significant
number of people who were better qualified in terms of more education or experience,
including those who had worked during the July 31 referendum, were not rehired for the
elections, allegedly due to political bias in the recruitment process.

According to section 63 in the Election Act no. 11 of 1984, the Returning Officer shall appoint
Polling Assistants, to be in charge of the polling station (to be known as the Presiding Officer).
According to Section 10 (3): “the Returning Officer may, subject to the directions of the
Director of Elections, appoint such staff as may be necessary for the purpose of conducting
election in the constituency.” The constituency supervisor was a new position in this election,
which helped to train polling workers, as well as oversee and coordinate the polling stations in
each constituency.

ILPI received complaints from CUF in Micheweni, Pemba, that only a few people from the
ZEC polling staff applicant list had been considered, and instead ZEC had specifically
choosen staff. According to CUF, these had a lower education level than required. Similar
claims was made in Wete, Pemba, where the original list of people being accepted and
published after interviews was modified and polling staff said to be CUF supporters had been
removed. These complaints leave room for a more open and transparent recruitment process.
Although ILPI cannot provide systematic evidence that this happened, we did interview people
who originally had been accepted for positions, but who were later removed. When observing
the polling staff training some days prior to the election, we did also see that many staff came
from well-known CCM families, or people close to the people in charge of recruitment.

The campaign season in Zanzibar started on 10 September, a month after the start of the
campaign season on the mainland, and just as the Holy month of Ramadan ended. The post-
referendum reconciliation spirit was maintained throughout the campaign period. The
reconciliation spirit was also supported by ‘The Code of Ethics for Political Parties’, which was
signed by all 18 registered political parties in Zanzibar prior to the start of the campaign. This
was a welcome change from past election campaigns which were characterized by
intimidation and violence, mainly between the two major parties CCM and CUF. During the

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

campaigns CCM, CUF, and the smaller parties in Zanzibar were able to maintain a respective
and peaceful campaign, despite the fact that both CCM and CUF were victims of isolated rock
throwing incidents on Unguja during the first weeks of the campaign. CCM and CUF showed
maturity and reconciliation spirit, as both parties downplayed these incidents. As the
campaign approached its end both parties continued to focus predominately on policies and
their party’s ambitions for change in Zanzibar, rather than attacking their competitors. This
helped to ensure peace and stability on Election Day.

Dr Shein giving a strong “CCM oyee” in Chwaka, Unguja

CUF presidential candidate Maalim Seif greeting people in his last presidential rally on Pemba


During the first session of the Union Parliament in 2010, The Election Expenses Act (2010)
was passed. The goal of this legislation is to be “An Act to make provisions for the funding of
nomination process, election campaigns and elections with a view to controlling the use of
funds and prohibited practices in the nomination process, election campaigns and elections;
to make provisions for allocation, management and accountability of funds, and to provide for
consequential and related matters.” This new legislation was passed by the Union parliament
and thus only applied to Union election campaigns, so that in Zanzibar the only ones subject
to the new law were the MP and Union Presidential Campaigns. On the mainland the
enforcement mechanism was the Prevention and Combating Corruption Bureau (PCCB), but
in Zanzibar the PCCB had no authority or mandate, so enforcement of the new law was left up
the Register of Political Parties and the Police, making it difficult to enforce the new act.

Election Expenses Act, 2010, 3.

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

The Zanzibar races for President, House of Representatives, and Councilor were not subject
to the new legislation, nor did there exist an anti-corruption bureau with a mandate in
Zanzibar. The de facto enforcement would then fall under the mandate of the police who
currently do not have the resources or tools to properly address these issues.

Throughout the campaign, the ruling party CCM used state resources, and money in
particular, to tilt the playing field to their advantage. This has been a common theme in
Zanzibar and on the Mainland as the line between the state and the ruling party remains very
blurred, 18 years after the reintroduction of multiparty politics. For instance, ILPI observed the
CCM Presidential Candidate using the Vice Presidential plane on campaign trips between
Unguja/Dar and Pemba. Additionally, government vehicles were habitually used to transport
CCM supporters to and from campaign rallies. Government employees were also encouraged
to attend CCM rallies. For instance, on one occasion when ILPI was visiting the Zanzibar
Special Department Troops Ministry office, the troops were receiving CCM campaign
schedules and were urged to attend the CCM rallies.

The amount of money used by the parties, the way in which supporters were brought to
campaign rallies, and how cadres received party paraphernalia could not have been more
different. On the CCM side daladala and lorries were hired and drivers often paid significant
sums of money by the party to drive supporters to rallies. They also received free petrol
provided by the party. Agents provided with lists would be present at the petrol stations along
the route and near the rallies and long lines of cars, daladalas, vespas, and lorries were
observed waiting to receive free petrol. This commonly known service of free fuel and money
prompted CUF to modify one of their slogans saying, “Who are those who don’t want equal
rights?” with the crowd responding “Those in the free cars”. CCM supporters were also given
free kangas, hats, t-shirts and other party paraphernalia at CCM offices prior to rallies.

CUF relies mainly on support by the government (which is based on the percentage of elected
posts) as well as private donations. Financial strains during the six-week long campaign
period is a serious challenge to the smaller parties in Zanzibar. Even CUF could not afford to
provide financial support to supporters to enable them to attend rallies or give out
paraphernalia, as their CCM counterparts. While some of the more well off CUF supporters
hire cars to carry people to rallies, the cadres themselves funded many of the cars, daladalas,
vespas, and lorries. ILPI often saw CUF supporters asking for contributions at branches to
support transport to and from rallies. Additionally, at the CUF rallies there persisted a
business atmosphere with people selling party kangas, hats, t-shirts, CDs and other things, as
supporters normally had to buy everything themselves.

The other smaller parties that compete for seats in Zanzibar have no government funding and
must rely on private support only. This severely hampers their ability to compete on all
electoral levels in Zanzibar.

The media in Zanzibar in past elections has played a negative and biased role in the electoral
process as much of the media is state controlled. It is also a problem that many of the
independent journalists in Zanzibar are often internally censored by their mainland editors.
During the 2010 election campaign the media more often than not played a positive role in the
campaign, generally upholding the Media Code of Conduct for Election Reporting. However,
public media in particular increased their bias towards the ruling party CCM as the campaign
progressed. Nevertheless, government papers such as Zanzibar Leo attempted to provide a
semblance of balance in their coverage, also giving CUF and other opposition parties some
attention. Broadcasting media, both public and private, showed a clear preference and bias
toward CCM in Zanzibar, although CUF as opposed to other opposition parties received
significant airtime.

Many of the mainland based media outlets covered the Zanzibari process, but focused only
on the CCM and CUF, rarely giving any press to other opposition parties. The main freedom

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

of expression concern during the election campaign was the threat by the Union government’s
Director of the Tanzania Information Services (Maelezo) to close and deregister the leading
Kiswahili newspaper Mwananchi for, “inciting and humiliating coverage against the incumbent
government.” This direct threat might also have influenced other news outlets to become
more careful and impose a self-censorship on their campaign reporting.


From the outset of the campaign period the communication and cooperation between the
police and the two major political parties was commendable. ILPI observed from the beginning
of the campaign through the final day that police kept a low profile at campaign rallies, and
those who were assigned to the rallies were unarmed. As Election Day neared, more Field
Force Units (FFU) were observed, but they never appeared to be intimidating or interfering in
the process. The major improvement that the police could have made during the campaign
period was equal application of the ending time of 6pm. ILPI observed that at CUF rallies the
police were quite strict, while CCM was occasionally allowed to go past 6pm, with the most
notable exception being when President Kikwete spoke at a rally on Pemba until nearly

As opposed to previous elections, SMZ Special Department Troops were not employed as
security forces during this electoral process.6 This is a significant improvement from earlier
elections, where their intimidating presence worked in favor of the incumbent.


From the start of the voter registration process ZEC sought to improve and update their
preparations and protocols from the Commissioner level down to the poll worker level. The
majority of the focus has been on the PVR, voter education, polling equipment, and party
agent/poll worker training. Close collaboration and often prodding from UNDP helped to
ensure that many of these tasks were completed. ZEC has improved many of their
procedures, but there is still significant room for improvement in several areas.


In past elections the early display of the voter register (at least seven days prior to Election
Day) has not been implemented in accordance with the Election Act. In the past, the voter
registry was made available only a day or two before the polling, making it difficult for the
parties to verify and use the registry on Election Day. In an act of transparency and
reconciliation, This time around, ZEC made the PVR available to political parties on 6
October, giving all parties a chance to examine the registry for possible faults, and to prepare
copies for polling agents on Election Day. ZEC also posted the voter registry for each polling
station outside of the station 7 days prior to the elections so as to speed up the voting
process. Additionally, voters could check their polling station and room number via SMS, a
new innovation put in place for this election.

A serious transparency and fraud concern was ZEC’s control of the 10,180 voter cards that
were not picked up at the District offices by 14 September. These cards were returned to ZEC
Headquarters, and were supposed to be tightly controlled. ILPI tried several times to ascertain
the number of voter cards still being held at the ZEC office after their return to the office.
Various ZEC officials both in the secretariat and commission told ILPI that they didn’t know,
and could not even provide an estimate of the number of cards that had yet to be picked up.
This was after ZEC gave assurances to UNDP and the Election Support Program that both
the ZEC commission and secretariat would keep tight control of these voter cards. Voters

SMZ Special Department Troops were used during the turbulent first round of registration process on Pemba. After
the official maridhiano handshake between President Karume and Maalim Seif, the situation calmed down making the
presence of SMZ troops redundant.

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

continued to pick up their voter cards until 30 October, and ILPI was told on 29 October by a
ZEC official that only “around 1,500 cards are still here at ZEC”. This figure seems very low
considering the very bureaucratic process voters have to undergo to pick up their cards once
returned to ZEC headquarters. In order to pick up his card, a voter would first be requested to
fill out a form at the district office, which was then sent to ZEC headquarters. The card was
then returned to the district office. Finally, the voter had to come back to the district office at a
later date to pick up their card. On average ZEC told ILPI that this process in Pemba took
between one and two weeks. While it was quicker on Unguja, it still took at least a few days
and two trips by the individual voter to the district offices. There were also allegations and
rumors about the distribution of these voter cards by sheha and CCM offices. ILPI was shown
by CUF’s election officials, stacks of voter cards allegedly taken from a sheha who was
distributing cards in the Kwamtipura constituency on Unguja.


The voter education activities in relation to voter registration, referendum and election were all
characterized by large delays in funding and delivery of programs. ZEC working with UNDP
communicated with local CSOs in the development of voter education materials and hired
CSOs to conduct the voter education on the behalf of ZEC. While the preparation of materials
and the inputs from CSOs were quite useful, many of the materials were wasted due to delays
in funding and production of the materials. Huge numbers of posters and pamphlets were not
distributed during each stage of the electoral process. Their reach into rural areas was also
curtailed because of delays. Delays in funding to CSOs tasked with providing voter education
workshops and seminars caused a month long suspension of voter education on Unguja,
while only two organizations were delivering voter education on Pemba. Good voter education
programs included the open seminars observed on Pemba, where people were allowed to
come and ask election related questions. On Unguja the local theatre troop provided an
entertaining and educational show for potential voters.


ZEC’s equipment and logistics preparations for the general elections were exemplary. ZEC
worked mainly on their own, but they also received help from UNDP on the more technical
preparations such as the computerized results management system, which was fully prepared
when Election Day arrived. This was in stark contrast to their NEC counterparts who had to
cancel the MP elections in three constituencies in Unguja due to lack of ballot papers and also
suffered from a lack of ballots for the Union Presidency.

ILPI observed that each ZEC District Office had prepared their polling station materials
several weeks before the Election Day, with the exception of ballots. ZEC ballots for the three
races arrived within one week of Election Day. Prior to Election Day ZEC discovered that for
four Councilor elections the ballot papers were flawed, thus a rescheduling of these elections
to 29 November were announced the day before Election Day. One more Councilor race on
Pemba was delayed on Election Day.

ZEC working with the UNDP also tested their technical equipment and capacity for the district
results transmission centers prior to the elections. Despite these tests there were concerns
that ZEC would not be able to trouble shoot or correctly set up the systems in more rural
districts. This concern appeared to be unwarranted, but ILPI and observers were not allowed
to view the transmission of results.


ILPI attended both party agents and poll worker’s training sessions. ZEC conducted a two day
seminar to train party agents, where they instructed them on their role in the electoral process
and answered their questions on the process. This training appeared adequate for the party

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

agents, as many of them had performed this work during past elections and were thoroughly
trained by their parties.

Poll workers received training for two full days. While these seminars were well conducted
and taught by ZEC constituency officers, ILPI observed that many of the poll workers did not
fully comprehend the instructions to ensure an entirely smooth process, especially in regards
to the counting procedures. It should be noted that the poll workers trained by ZEC appeared
much better trained than their NEC counterparts.

There were 131 polling centres on Pemba, and 225 on Unguja. Each polling centre was
further divided into several polling stations, giving a total of 1,291 polling stations. Opening
hours were from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Unguja several stations opened late because of heavy
rain. In these cases the stations would be held open for additional time to make up for the late
start. For instance, at the Shangani polling station, which opened at 7:20am allowed voters to
arrive until 4:20pm. ZEC and NEC would process all voters still in line at 4, but no one could
arrive and join the queue after 4. NEC and ZEC were in the same polling stations; there were
3 ballots for ZEC: President; House of Representatives; and Councillor, and three
corresponding ballot boxes. The ballots were colour coordinated, in pink, black, and very light
blue ballots corresponding to white, black, and blue boxes. There were two ballots for NEC:
Union President and Member of Parliament, these were also colour coordinated with the
corresponding ballot boxes.

People waiting in line outside Mzuka polling station in Konde, Pemba

In general ZEC conducted a commendable polling exercise. Both CCM and CUF officials
expressed general satisfaction with the conduct of the ZEC election. The average voting time
observed on both Unguja and Pemba was around 5 minutes for the ZEC elections. While the
NEC elections took significantly longer in some areas primarily because insufficient trained
staff, ballot problems, and only one ballot-marking booth.

The elections of three Diwani positions on Pemba were postponed due to missing ballots and
mixed names and pictures of a CCM and a TLP candidate. The wards are Msingini (Chake
Chake constituency), Wara (Ziwani constituency) and Ng’ambwa (Wawi constituency). Five
Diwani elections were also postponed on Unguja: Magapwani (Bumbwini constituency),
Kajengwa (Makunduchi), Kwahani (Kwahani constituency), Nyerere (Magogoni) and
Mchangani (Stone Town). The ZEC diwani by-election will be held 28 November.

Due to complaints during previous elections, following significant changes of protocol were
undertaken to ensure an improved polling environment for the 2010 elections:

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

1) The local ward leaders (sheha), were not involved in an formal capacity on Election
Day. This was a welcomed step for the opposition parties, as the role of the sheha in
earlier elections have been heavily criticised.
2) The Election Act, section 66. (c) (d) specifies: “Every ballot paper shall: (c) have a
serial number printed thereon; (d) be attached to a counterfoil bearing the same serial
number that is printed on the ballot papers.” In 2005 this number was specific to each
ballot paper, in 2010 each pad of 50 ballots would have the same number, thus
making it impossible to trace the votes.
3) No SMZ Special Department Troops were employed as security forces during
Election Day. There were only one or two unarmed police per polling station, and
armed backup waited at police stations rather in the vicinity of the polling stations. On
Pemba ILPI only observed one Field Force Unit car, with policemen in combat
uniforms/equipment patrolling in the north.


At most polling stations the layout of the room was acceptable and did not obstruct the flow,
and the required equipment was in place and working. Some of the venues were too small,
making the room crowded and unorganised when all ZEC staff and party agents and voters
were present. In some station ILPI observed party agents seated around ballot boxes, there
was no clear path for voters to follow in the stations, and lines compromised the secrecy of
the ballots. The heavy rain on Unguja during the morning hampered the opening of some
polling stations as ZEC staff had moved the stations from under tarps outside to inside

From a polling station in Mkanyageni, Pemba south

7.1.1 Equipment related difficulties/challenges


ILPI visited Junguni (Gando, Pemba) polling centre upon opening. ILPI was kindly requested
by the Presiding officer to assist the ZEC staff with the inkbottles, since they were having
difficulties opening these. This was a problem at several of the polling stations at this centre,
but not observed elsewhere on Pemba or Unguja.


A common problem ILPI observed across both Unguja and Pemba was the location of the
voting booths. Often the booths were either facing the ZEC staff or were arranged in a way
that did not protect the secrecy of the ballot being marked. Late in the day in Pemba north,

See for instance: National Democratic Institute (NDI) Election observation report from the Zanzibar general election
in 2005

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

ILPI saw several booths falling apart. We observed one man whose ballot and pen fell through
the “desk”. We also saw several booths leaned up against walls and windows, since they
were too damaged or just too weak to stand on their own. In both Urban Unguja and Pemba
South ILPI observed and heard complaints that the lighting in the booth was too poor, and
voters were struggling to see the ballots. Some stations in Pemba and Unguja provided the
voters with lanterns in the booth, but most did not.

Poorly labelled ballot boxes

The vague colour coordination for the ballots and their respective ballot boxes turned out to be
insufficient instructions for most voters, and more often than not, people did not know in which
of the three ballot boxes they should to cast their votes. This held up the line at many stations.
The party agents kept shouting instructions to people regarding the boxes, but in Stone Town
this type of assistance by a CUF party agent led him to being expelled from the polling station
by the constituency supervisor. Many of the boxes on Pemba were eventually labelled more
clearly, either on the side (not so efficient) or the top (more efficient) so people knew where to
cast their votes. In Unguja at some stations in the North and Urban/West regions, and at
some stations in Pemba South, one person was designated to stand next to the ballot boxes
instructing people in which box their votes should be cast. According to Zanzibar Legal
Services Centre, ZEC disqualified 51 presidential votes in Micheweni, since they were in the
wrong ballot box. This was not observed by ILPI. We saw the Presiding officer and polling
agents, in cooperation with the party agents, open the ballot boxes at the beginning of the
counting process to correct the misplaced ballots.


The Election Act section 68. (3)(c)(i) specifically states that: “Immediately before the Presiding
Officer or polling assistant delivers a ballot paper to any person:- the ballot paper shall be
perforated or stamped with an official mark;” ILPI on Unguja generally observed ZEC polling
officers following the law in this regard. On Pemba it was more common that the ZEC staff
had already folded the ballots and stamped them when the voter came to collect the ballot
papers. At several polling stations on Pemba, ILPI observed ZEC staff who pre-folded ballots,
stamped them and subsequently put them in piles. There were two or three piles of the three
ballots each, and the voter was merely given one of these piles. One man, a former ZEC
polling officer, told ILPI he grabbed two piles, to check if the ZEC polling officer would notice.
According to him, she did and screamed up, but he thought this pre-folding routine would be
easy to misuse and give certain people more than one ballot or to spoil ballots. This could
also reduce the control of the party agents over how many votes were given as they often sat
at a distance from the table were the ballot papers were handed out. This could also allow
polling workers to pre-tick ballots; something that one polling officer in the Stone Town
constituency was caught doing on Election Day, according to what the Stone Town
constituency supervisor told ILPI shortly after the incident.

Party Agents

All parties were allowed to have two party agents per polling station: one for the Zanzibar
Presidency and one for the House and Councillor elections. On Election Day most party
agents had a copy of the PVR, and at most polling stations the name of the voter was
announced out loud so the party agents could tick these off. If a party agent contested the
name or the person, he or she was not allowed to see this person’s voter card. Some polling
officers also announced the corresponding page or voter ID number to find the person more
rapidly. ILPI also observed party agents doing the same for the ZEC staff if they found the
voter first. Two of the polling centres in Pemba north were overcrowded. In these the polling
officer did not announce the name of the voters, and the party agents did not tick off voters in
their PVR. On Unguja, ILPI observed some party agents sharing copies of the PVR, working
together to identify voters.


International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

The PVR was found both outside and inside the polling stations: posted outside so voters
could see which polling station one should queue for and when the voter entered the polling
station, he or she was looked up in the PVR by the polling officer. At Fidel Castro station in
Wawi, Pemba, CUF complained the PVR displayed outside did not match the one inside.
According to CUF the outside PVR had 376 names, and the inside PVR 341.

Secrecy of the vote

The placement of the voter booths in many stations on both Unguja and Pemba brought into
question the secrecy of the ballot. According to the Election Act, section 68. (3) (d) …”a voter
on receiving a ballot paper shall go immediately into one of the screened compartments in the
polling station, secretly record his vote (…).” At some of the smaller stations, or the more
over-crowded polling stations, the secrecy of the vote could be compromised. At over-
crowded polling centres in Pemba North and Urban Unguja each voter casting his or her vote
had a group of 6-7 people surrounding the booth, waiting their turn. On Unguja and South
Pemba some stations had lines right outside of the room where people could look down into
the classroom and possibly observe the voter marking the ballot.


In Tumbe, Pemba, there were several complaints that people who needed assistance when
voting were blocked, since ZEC did not have enough forms to register the assistants. This
was later resolved, and ZEC officers were told to make new forms on blank paper, noting
down the names of the assistant and the assisted.

According to the ZLSC, at one of the stations in the Tumbatu constituency, Unguja, the
Presiding Officer said it was his responsibility to help those who needed assistance, and did
not allow trusted family assistants to help, as detailed in the law. The Election Act, section 68.
(h) states: “if a voter is incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause, or is unable to
read, he may call the Presiding Officer or a companion aside, and shall tell him (…) the name
of the candidate for whom he wishes to vote, and the Presiding Officer or a companion shall
mark the ballot paper accordingly (…)” Section 68. (k) clearly states that disabled persons
should be assisted by a person entitled to vote at the election, or a father, mother, brother,
sister, husband, wife, son or daughter over 18 years.

Double voting

In the Urban and Western Districts ILPI heard several complaints about double voting and
voters using the Zanzibar ID and not the voter card to identify themselves, while on Pemba
there were very few complaints. While many of these complaints stems from trusted sources,
these have not been confirmed or observed by ILPI directly. ILPI did observe an incident
where CUF supporters had blocked a group of voters wearing ZEC uniforms at the
Mwanakwerekwe A station, and brought them to the Mwanakwerekwe police station. At the
police station the CUF supporters asked the police to arrest these people or open a case
because they were double voting. After a period of shouting and increasing tension, the police
told the CUFV supporters to disperse and allowed the car of ZEC uniformed people to leave.
Directly after leaving the scene, ILPI observed another daladala full of people in ZEC green
vests traversing the town. ILPI spoke with the daladala driver who was letting some of the
people out of the car. He said they were ZEC staff voting during their lunch break. ILPI
followed the daladala to the Kwamtipura and Amani voter stations, to see if the people should
vote or whether their were returning to their work stations. Since the driver and the people
dressed in ZEC vests saw that ILPI was observing them, they did not leave the daladala to
enter the polling centre. ILPI spoke with the ZEC constituency supervisor who said they were
in fact ZEC employees coming back to their posts after voting. After 10 minutes of waiting
game, the people had still not exited the daladala, thus ILPI continued its round of
observations leaving the suspicious vehicle to its own affairs. ,

This rather peculiar behaviour did not seem to match up with the official explanation from ZEC
that these people were employees out to vote. On Pemba there were very few complaints

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

about double voting. However, one former NEC polling officer told ILPI he personally saw a
ZEC officer vote twice in Wete.

NEC’s Impact on ZEC

At several stations that ILPI visited in the Urban and West districts, NEC was slowing down
the entire voting process and opening the door for problems with the ZEC process. At stations
where NEC ran out of Union presidential ballots they told voters to wait outside until more
ballots were delivered. This was contrary to what ZEC was telling voters which was to go
home after they had finished voting. The result was large crowds of people waiting outside of
the polling centres. In Kojani, Pemba the lack of NEC ballot papers resulted in voters refusing
to start voting for all elections ZEC and NEC until all ballot papers arrived. The NEC officers in
Wete had to drive out the newly received ballots, before voting began for ZEC and NEC. This
delayed the whole election process in Kojani, which did not commence until 8:30am.

The tabulation of results was divided into three phases: first, counting at the polling stations,
secondly, counting and aggregation of results per constituency at District tallying centres and
for electronic transfer of results to the ZEC results HQ, and at last, the final compilation at
Bwawani Hotel near Stone Town, Unguja.



All three ZEC ballot boxes for the Presidential, HoR and councillors elections were generally
handled in the same manner, with some minor variations between the counting stations. The
Presidential ballot box was opened, and ZEC staff and party agents gathered to count these.
If there were misplaced ballots all boxes with misplaced ballots would be opened and
exchanged with the oversight of all people present in the station. They counted all the votes in
the ballot box first. Then the votes were sorted into one pile per party. Spoiled/uncertain/blank
votes were removed in a separate pile, but in general very few ballots were spoiled. Then the
party piles were rechecked and counted, under special attention from the relevant party agent.
Then the results were written into the result form, and the relevant party agents signed for
them. The ballots were then placed in separate envelopes for valid and spoiled votes and then
returned to the box, before the ballot box was resealed. Then the next two ballot boxes were
counted, and signed for. The total of each ballot box was compared to the total number of
voters that day. The three result sheets were then posted on the wall outside the polling
station, and party agents were given copies of the result forms.

From counting at a polling station in Mkoani, Pemba


International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

The efficiency of the counting varied widely based on the ZEC staff and party agent
competency. Observing the counting at Mtopepo polling centre, Mtoni constituency in Unguja,
some counting stations quickly and efficiently counted the ballots, while other spent very long
counting each box. In Mtoni the CUF candidate personally installed and paid for electrical
lights in all classrooms and an emergency back-up generator in case the electricity supply
would be cut so the counting could continue smoothly after sunset, in fear of a repeat of what
happened during the 2005 counting process. In other cases ZEC provided a lamp to each
counting station to facilitate counting after dark. Observing counting at Vitongoji, Wawi,
Pemba, it quickly grew dark. The ZEC team only had two small lanterns, which made their
work difficult. There were at average 9 people involved in counting and verifying the ZEC
votes, and the dim light made this process slow and more tedious.


After a long day of polling both ZEC staff and party agents were tired by the time it came to
count the votes. Many of the ZEC staff had been instructed to sleep at the polling stations the
night before, in order to be there early enough for opening. As a minimum most staff – ZEC
and party agents – were asked to be present at the stations no later than 6:30am. Thus when
ILPI for instance observed counting in Vintongoji, which finished around 7:30pm, all ZEC staff
and party agents had been working a solid 13 hours straight. Finishing the lines in many areas
were hectic, and the workload was definitely substantial. The strain on the staff was evident in
several respects: at Vitongoji, the staff repeatedly expressed a wish to “just get this over and
done with”. The long working day with little or no rest could thus have affected the accuracy of
the counting process.

The Election Act, section 77 (a) opens up for the possibility that the parties could have had
“new” people come in as counting agents, rather than using the party agents in this capacity
as well. Each party is entitled to have one counting agent per candidate. To ILPI’s knowledge
no parties utilized this opportunity to change agents for the counting process.

Party Agents

At Vitongoji, Pemba, during the signing of the result forms, several CCM party agents were
missing. According to the Election Act, section 80B. (1) (b) the Presiding officer should:
“prepare a separate report of the results of each Member of the House of Representatives
and Presidential elections in the manner and form as the Commission may direct, which shall
be signed by the Presiding Officer and the polling agents, if present;” The ZEC staff thus
completed the form and displayed this, even if the CCM party agents were not present to sign
the forms. The Election Act further states in section 80B (1) (c): “the Presiding Officer shall
require the polling agent or if present a candidate to state in the prescribed form any
complaint or to confirm satisfaction with the counting of votes.” In section 92 on the other hand
it states that non- attendance of agents shall not invalidate election procedures at any point.

Section 80B (1) (e) states that all party agents should receive a copy of the report of results
after these are displayed at the station. These would serve as proof for the parties of the
election results. ILPI heard complaints only from CUF that some of their party agents in
Unguja North region were not given results forms by the ZEC officers who disappeared with
the result forms; some gave their original copies to CCM and fake copies to CUF; and some
destroyed them. According to CUF this lack of complete station level results rendered CUF
unable to pursue a potential complaint process during the result verification process.


All results (and the ballot boxes) at all polling stations were transferred to the District
compilation centres by the responsible ZEC presiding officers, polling officers and party
agents. At these District compilation centres polling station results would be compiled for each
constituency. After compiling the results at constituency level, these constituency result forms
were scanned by the District Returning Office and sent off to the ZEC commission stationed at
the Results Centre based at the Bwawani Hotel, Unguja.

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

The compilation of results for constituencies started from approximately 9 pm and lasted until
around 8 am the following day.

ILPI observed the constituency supervisor working with the party agents and presiding officers
who all worked together to tally the results. Two ZEC staff per constituency would write all the
polling station results on the black board from each counting station. Then, working together,
the ZEC employees and party agents would compile the total number of votes, checking and
rechecking until they agreed on the overall constituency results. According to ZEC Guidelines
for Returning Officers on the Procedures to be Followed During the Election, the Returning
Officers are required to display the election results outside of the tallying stations. ILPI, who
followed the tallying in the result centres in several districts on both Unguja and Pemba,
never observed the posting of tallied results. ILPI asked ZEC officials about this after the
elections and they said “according to the election law we are not required to post the complied
the results only declare a winner and provide certificates to the declared winner.”

The compilation at Chake Chake, Pemba, was disorganized and inefficient, and CCM and
CUF party officials tried to speed up the process. Contrary to the process at the other
compiling centres, the presiding officer from each polling station came in to announce the
results for that particular station (rather than having two ZEC staff writing down all results for
the whole constituency on the board). This was extremely time consuming. Many of the
presiding officers who came in to announce the results from their particular polling station
were nervous and unprepared. Being asked to present the results in a certain order, (results
for ASP first, then CUF, then CCM and so forth) ILPI observed 4 different presiding officers
who needed a break to prepare for reading the results in a different order than the one they
had on their result sheet. CUF party agents outside later commented on this to ILPI,
complaining that if ZEC had adhered to their initial minimum required education level for
presiding officers (form 4), situations like these would have been avoided. One time the
presiding officers could not be found, so a different polling station had to be counted first.

The ZEC staff in charge of the compilation in Chake also performed poorly. Their
management of the numbers was inadequate, and CCM and CUF officials repeatedly
corrected the results that were announced by the ZEC official compiling them with a
calculator. The ZEC staff in charge at the Chake district forgot to collect the original result
sheets from the ZEC polling officers, and most of ZEC polling officers in Ziwani left with the
original sheets before ZEC realized they should have collected these.

The strain on polling officers, party agents, candidates and party officials was very evident at
the result centre in Chake Chake. Especially ZEC and CUF were not up to speed, and made
several mistakes. ILPI observed ZEC granting CUF a total of 4,964 votes in Ziwani
constituency, whilst the actual figure should have been 5,894. This was later corrected by an
outsider, but CUF themselves did not correct this, nor did they react much when it was
corrected. According to another observer, this happened again after ILPI left, when again an
outsider corrected ZEC and gave CUF another 400 votes. CCM on the other hand in general
followed their results closely, and protested immediately when mistakes were made.

The compilation room in Chake Chake was too small to fit more than a couple of party agents,
so these were basically excluded from the process. The Election Act, section 83A. (1)
includes the counting agent (or party agent) in the list of people authorized to be present at
the addition of voters.

Upon the completion of the compilation of each constituency, the party should have been
given access to the official results according to the Election Act, section 87. (3): “The
Returning Officer shall prepare a statement as to the result of the verification and shall on
request allow any counting agent to copy such statement.” At most compilation rooms, party
agents were allowed in and thus had continuous access to all compiled results. Further,
according to section 87. (4), the results report of the Returning officer should be submitted to
the Commission after having been confirmed and signed by the candidates or their counting
agents and the Returning Officer. ILPI did not observe this taking place, but it could have
been done after observers left. CUF complained that in some areas this did not happen.

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

There was serious concern with regard to the lack of transparency when sending the results
to Bwawani from all district tallying centres: observers and party agents were refused entry to
the transmission rooms when the transmission took place. In Wete, there was tension when
party agents and candidates were denied access to the transmission room. ILPI observed an
allegedly national security agent being allowed in, without ID. Due to the wording of the
Election Act and the ZEC Guidelines for Returning Officers, it was impossible to argue against
this with any form of authority.

It is interesting to note that the Election Act is surprisingly imprecise on the process after the
compilation of each constituency. When the Returning Officer has the results of a
constituency, and the candidate or polling agent have signed these, the Election Act section
88 specifies the following for the remaining process: “When the result of a contested election
has been ascertained the Returning Officer shall:- (a) forthwith declare to be elected the
candidate for whom the majority of votes has been cast; and (b) send a notification of election
in writing to the successful candidate; and (c) report the result of the election to the
Commission which shall cause such results, together with the number of votes recorded for
each candidate in each constituency to be published in the Gazette.” There is nothing here
that specifies how the results should be sent, who can be present upon sending them, how
the addition of results should be done at Bwawani, and what transparency measures are in
place to ensure a free and fair election for this final phase of the result process. Considering
that two whole pages of the Election Act are dedicated to detailing the process of assisting
incapacitated or disabled voters, one would – in comparison - expect there to be details
concerning the final result process as well.

Compiling votes at Western District Tallying Center, Unguja

The ZEC Guidelines for Returning Officers on the Procedures to be Followed During the
Election, under point 7 (iii-v) states that the Returning officer, after confirming the constituency
results, should “(iii) provide the winners with certificates of election and inform the Electoral
Commission, (iv) display the election results outside the tallying station. (v) send the
presidential results to the Electoral Commission using a prescribed form.” They further detail
the following regarding the sending of the results under Additional Information on
Transmission of Results: “The Returning Officer hands over the results to transmission centre
based at the District Office. From the District Office the results are transmitted electronically to
The problem with access was also echoed in EU EOM’s preliminary election statement: “denial of access to political
party agents and international and domestic observers not only raised doubts about the transparency of the process
but also contradicted the assurances of previously agreed access given in the Memorandum of Understanding
between the European Union and ZEC.”

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

the Commission for verification.” The level of detail is still very low, and gives observers or
parties little room to follow the final tallying process.


The verification of the Presidential results by the commission took place behind closed doors
at the Bwawani Hotel. The results from both the counting station level and constituency level
were scanned in and sent from the various District offices. The ZEC Director would then on
behalf of the commission verify the results, before the Commission would make the
announcement. After the first 15 constituencies were announced on the morning of 1
November, CUF launched a complaint concerning the results from the Kikwajuni not matching
the forms they had from the constituency. Apparently, CUF did not manage to provide
sufficient proof quickly enough to back their initial complaint. Due to rising tension/security
concerns, and in the spirit of maridhiano, CUF subsequently dropped their complaints in order
to facilitate a speedy announcement of the results.

The major concerns that ILPI has about the results compilation and verification process are
twofold. First, the rolling results system was apparently not used as was planned by UNDP
and the ESP donor group. Second, the transmission and verification process were left up to
the Secretariat with no oversight. The results should have come in on a continual basis - and
as they were announced, they should have been posted on the ZEC website down to the
polling station level for various stakeholders to follow. As of 7 November 2010 the results
were still not posted on the website and full results of Presidential, House of Representatives,
and Councillor races had yet to be made available to ILPI. Additionally, when ILPI asked for
Presidential results down to the polling station level, ZEC said they were still working on
putting them all together. ZEC could have made the process more transparent and allowed
observers to follow ZEC’s validation of results at Bwawani.

Another concern relates to the ZEC server. According to an ILPI source working in ZEC the
ZEC results server went down for some time during the verification process, but results
continued to come in. ZEC’s information officer told ILPI 8 November that he had not heard
about any server problems.

The presidential results were announced at ZEC’s result center at Bwawani Hotel 1
November, around 8:30pm. Prior to the result announcement starting around 8 am, a large
group of CUF supporters had gathered outside the gates of the result center, demanding a
speedy announcement of the results. Several attempts by the police and CUF officials to ask
the group to leave, failed. While the tensions were high both the crowd and the police did a
good job of maintaining a peaceful protest. This group put pressure not only on the
commission, but also on CCM and CUF leadership on how to proceed with the process in a
way to avoid possible violence and the destruction of the hard won peace and reconciliation in
Zanzibar. Although peace prevailed, this crowd was a serious security concern. However,
CUF leader Maalim Seif worked together with the police and was finally able to disperse the
crowd just before the final results were announced.


Percentage Percentage Percentage Percentage
President President President President
District Constituency 2010 2010 2005 2005
Wete Gando 85,4 14,4 87,8 11,9
Kojani 91,5 8,2 93,6 6,2
Mtambwe 94,4 5,4 95 4,8
Ole 86,2 13,3 87,5 12,2
Wete 84,3 15,5 85,5 14,3

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

Total 88,1 11,6 89,9 9,9
Micheweni Konde 89,4 10,1 88,9 10,7
Mgogoni 89,8 9,8 88,7 10,7
Micheweni 76,8 22,1 77,5 21,2
Tumbe 91,3 8,3 92,6 6,8
Total 86,6 12,8 86,8 12,5
Mkoani Chambani 85,5 14 89,3 10,3
Kiwani 69,5 29,8 75,8 23,2
Mkanyageni 63,1 36,3 68,1 31,7
Mkoani 63,7 36 70,2 29,6
Mtambile 83,5 16,1 86 11,8
Mkoani 72,5 27 78,4 21,3
Chake Chake Chake 77,7 21,9 79,7 20
Chonga 65,2 34,1 66,2 33,5
Wawi 74,4 25 79,8 18,7
Ziwani 86,3 13,5 88,5 11,2
Chake Chake Total 76,1 23,5 79,2 20,4
A Chaani 17,9 80,9 15,5 82
Matemwe 30,7 66 25,2 71,2
Mkwajuni 37,4 60,4 37,8 57,1
Tumbatu 42,2 57,1 48 51,3
Nungwi 47,1 51,4 38,3 59,9
A Total 35,6 62,8 33,6 63,8
B Donge 10,8 88,4 8,8 90,7
Bumbwini 39,1 60,2 35,5 64
Kitope 18,4 80,5 12,8 85,6
B Total 22 77,1 27,4 70,8
Kati Chwaka 17,7 81,1 12,6 86,9
Koani 29,7 69,3 24,2 75,1
Uzini 9,2 89,9 4,9 94,2
Kati Total 19,8 79,2 14,2 85,1
Kusini Makunduchi 15,9 83 12,3 87,3
Muyuni 17,7 81,5 13,2 86,5
Total 16,8 82,3 12,7 86,9
Magharibi Bububu 47,9 51,8 47,6 51,6
Dimani 43,7 55,5 32,7 66,9
Dole 29,4 69,9 23,2 76,4
Fuoni 30,2 69 31,5 67,9
Kiembe 27,4 71,8 21,5 78,4
Magogoni 55,4 44,1 42,5 56,8
Mfenesini 37,2 62,2 26,9 72,5
Mtoni 56,2 43,4 41,6 57,4
Mwanakwerekwe 39,2 60,4 32 67,5
Total 42,1 57,3 33,9 65,7
Mjini Amani 34,4 64,9 23,4 75,9
Chumbini 39 60 32,3 66,2
Jang'ombe 28,3 71,1 22,9 76,7
Kikwajuni 31,5 68 32,9 66,9
Kwahani 21,1 78,1 31,9 67,4

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

Kwamtipura 32,3 66,5 24,7 73,7

Magomeni 39,9 59,4 35,6 63,9
Mji Mkongwe 74,5 25,1 73,3 26,3
Mpendae 41,8 41,8 32 67,7
Rahaleo 35,2 64,2 31,9 67,4
Total 37,5 61,8 33,9 65,4


Some of the results appear to suggest certain contradictions. For instance, in Nungwi, North A
on Unguja, CUF got 3,473 votes for Maalim Seif, and CCM had 3,791 for Dr. Shein. For the
House of Representatives on the other hand, CUF got 3,808 votes compared to CCM’s 3,593.
CUF also won the MP seat and the local Councilor seat. But again CCM triumphed over CUF
in the NEC Presidential elections with 4,066 votes to CUF’s 3,574 votes. According to a CUF
leader: “It is highly unlikely that many in Nungwi would vote for their local CUF representative,
but not for Maalim Seif. If the discrepancy had been the other way around; with more votes for
Maalim Seif than for the local representative, that could be caused by local grievances.”
According to CCM supporters, the discrepancy was caused by CCM supporters who were
unhappy with their local candidates in Nungwi. A second aspect to question is the discrepancy
of votes between the two totals: 137 more votes for the House of Representative than for the
presidential election.

Other examples that are interesting to note are Makunduchi (South) and Fuoni (West). In
Makunduchi a total of 7,885 valid votes were cast for President: 6,544 for CCM’s Dr. Shein
1,256 for CUF’s Maalim Seif and 85 for the various smaller parties. In the House of
Representatives race only 7,601 vaild votes were cast with CCM taking 6,456 and CUF 1,145.
In Fuoni for the Presidential race, 9,201 valid votes were cast. Dr. Shein received 6,351,
Maalim Seif 2,777, and the other candidates 73 votes. In the House of Representatives race
fewer votes were cast 9,094 but CUF took a higher percentage with 2,827 and CCM receiving


Although the presidential results were very close, the reactions following the announcement of
the results have for the most part been positive and peaceful. Both CUF and CCM supporters
have been celebrating in the streets, often side by side, on both islands. CUF supporters were
also present in high numbers during CCM President Ali Mohammed Shein’s inauguration
ceremony, 3 November.

Immediately after the presidential results were announced, Maalim Seif gave a speech at the
Results Centre. In his speech he acknowledged the results and reminded people that both
parties had won, with reference to the government of national unity. He also expressed that
he was ready to work with Dr Shein in the forthcoming unity government. Dr Shein also hailed
the government of national unity in his speech and said he would need Maalim Seif’s
assistance. The positive, pro-reconciliation and unity-speeches were reflected in the reactions
on the ground the following day.

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

Police calming the crowd demanding the results be announced outside of the Bwawani Hotel

CCM and CUF youth celebrating in Wete following the presidential announcement

In interviews with ILPI, CUF supporters have expressed that the counting process and the
result was not “free and fair”, and that the result reflects this. They think that Maalim Seif was
forced to accept defeat to secure peace and continued reconciliation. A ZEC returning officer
told ILPI that “the election was free and fair, at least until the result announcement.”

A CUF district party secretary told ILPI that the party respected Maalim Seif’s speech and
acknowledged the result, because Maalim Seif had done so. The CUF House of
Representatives for Ziwani said: “we are pleased, but we know what happened. We accepted
the result, even if it were a lot of discrepancies. We had to put Zanzibar first, and now we
hope the GNU goes well.” One CUF supporter in Stone Town was frustrated. “I am
disappointed, but you know, we have to be happy.” This sentiment was echoed by many CUF
supporters. Although many felt that Maalim Seif had been cheated for his victory, they were
pleased that it has been the most peaceful election since multi-party-politics was introduced.
A man in Chake commented: “Maalim Seif’s speech was good. Telling ZEC that they have to
change shows us that he accepted defeat, even though he knew he had won. You need to be
very strong to be able to do this, and other African leaders would never have accepted such
an outcome. Many people would have died if he had not done what he did.” A man in Wete
also praised Maalim Seif’s speech: “His speech of just four minutes made a huge difference”.

Other CUF supporters pointed to the unofficial NEC results when claiming that CUF had been
cheated of the election victory: “Do you think that Maalim Seif really would get less votes than

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

the CUF Union Presidential candidate Ibrahim Lipumba, who received 67 percentage of the
votes from Zanzibar?”

When ILPI met CCM members in Chake Chake, Pemba, 2 November, they were celebrating
and members were preparing to go to Mkoani to take the boat to Dr Shein’s inauguration the
following day. The CCM officials we spoke to were pleased and thought ZEC had been doing
a good job. The CCM MP candidate for Chonga constituency congratulated CUF with a good
election on Pemba.

Although CCM won the presidency, CUF decided to celebrate their constituency victories – as
well as celebrate the government of national unity, that will give CUF the first vice president as
well as several ministerial posts. 2 November ILPI observed CUF and CCM supporters in
shared celebration on Pemba and Unguja, sharing party flags, caps and kangas, and even
CUF supporters modifying their own party song to include CCM. CUF supporters on Unguja
tended to be more accepting of CCM than CCM of CUF, with people at the CCM Kisonge
branch telling ILPI, “CCM are the only ones allowed to celebrate here”. The celebration
following the close race has demonstrated a remarkable spirit that reflects the
maridhiano/reconciliation process that has taken place on the isles since November last year.

Based on ILPI’s observations we would recommend ZEC or other relevant government offices
to take the following steps:

PVR: The government should make it easier and less expensive to get a Zanzibar ID card,
especially in cases where people lack an original birth certificate. A birth and death registry
should be opened on Pemba to alleviate this process. A review and reform of the Zanzibar ID
process and Zanzibar ID database and office could help to improve the trust in and
transparency of the office. This would also help ensure that all eligible voters who want to
participate in the electoral process are given their right to do so.

Voter education: Voter education programs should be started earlier and should be
managed more effectively to ensure that civic and voter education reaches all segments of the
Zanzibari population. ILPI was approached several times by ordinary Zanzibaris and CSOs,
who emphasized the need for continuous civic education, not only right before an election.
According to both CUF and CCM most of the voter education was left to the parties, and there
was widespread disappointment that ZEC was not more involved.

Campaign: In order to ensure a level playing field, no party should be allowed to use state
resources to support their campaigns. An anti-corruption body and election expenses act
should be established on Zanzibar in order to decrease corruption, buying of votes, and
regulate the use of money in the campaigns.

A neutral ZEC secretariat/poll workers: ZEC has been accused of being too close to the
ruling party, and should meet these allegations with a comprehensive review of the secretariat
of ZEC, to ensure that this is unbiased and politically neutral. Such reviews should also
include all ZEC staff, and should guide all recruitment procedures. For election staff ZEC
should deal with the allegations that nepotism and political affiliation were emphasized more
than formal requirements in the hiring process.

Less confusion when casting the ballot: Colored ballots and corresponding ballot boxes,
as well as clearly marked ballot boxes, will avoid unnecessary confusion in the next election.

ZEC staff voting on Election Day: It is commendable that ZEC are making sure that their
employees are given the chance to vote. However, the manner in which ZEC staff were driven
around in dala-dala mini-buses, arriving at polling stations with only their ZEC-vests to identify
them as ZEC employees, and notably without IDs, created suspicion. Neither party agents nor
observers were informed about this practice. ILPI would thus recommend that ZEC staff
driven around to vote on Election Day in 2015 are carrying proper ZEC identity cards. ZEC

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

staff should also inform party agents and observers in advance about this practice to avoid
unnecessary suspicion.

Result management: The major aspect ZEC and the government should focus on Improving
for the next election is the transparency in the final stage of results and compilation. ZEC
should review their work, with special focus on the last section of the result process, and
ensure that this process is transparent in the future. The House of Representatives should
review the Election Act, with special focus on section 88, and see if a more detailed process
for the last section of the result management should be drawn up. Such a specification of the
final phase of results would be an important improvement. Observers and party agents should
be allowed to observe the ZEC process of verifying votes at the main result centers, and then
transfer process from the district centers. All party agents should ideally be given access to
result forms at all stages.

According to ZEC, the election law does not require the Returning Officer to make
constituency results available to the parties in a result form, they only need to announce the
winner. This law should be amended to create for a more transparent result management

Zanzibar’s 2010 general election has been the best conducted election since multi-party
democracy was reintroduced in 1992. The election took place in a peaceful and orderly
fashion, in an environment guided by the Maridhiano-spirit. The 2010 elections are thus a
great step forward in consolidating democracy in Zanzibar. In general, the conduct of the
elections met international standards. However, certain crucial aspects regarding the result
accumulation process give reason for concern, as detailed above.

The limited presence of police and security, as well as excluding the shehas, showed people
on the ground a viable change from the election in 2005, and many referred to these two
aspects as proof that this is a new dawn for Zanzibar. Many CUF members were disappointed
that Maalim Seif did not become president, but the reactions and atmosphere following Dr.
Shein’s victory has been one of mutual celebrations and general optimism. Many Zanzibaris
emphasized that peace and stability is more crucial than democracy, and that a potential
criticism of results should and did give way for the greater good of a peaceful Zanzibar.

For the first time Zanzibar will see the formation of a government of national unity. The new
government will face severe challenges: cooperation and working relations internally, and high
expectations and pressure externally. Even if the future will be challenging, this does indeed
seem to be a new dawn for Zanzibar: one in which such a close political race ended with CUF
and CCM celebrating together, and their political leaders publicly accepting the results.

International Law and Policy Institute 2010 Elections in Zanzibar

EU EOM General Elections – Tanzania 2010. Preliminary statement. Dar es Salaam (2010)

National Democratic Institute (NDI) – 2005 Zanzibar Elections October 30 Final Report

Zanzibar’s Election Act No. 11 of 1984, incorporates all amendments made up to 2004

ILPI Report 31/2010: “The Progress of Voter Registration in Zanzibar. Observations and

The Constitution of Zanzibar, 2006, Revised Edition