Kikwete warns police about election troublemakers

Understaffed and without weapons, police are closing up shop at dusk for their own safety. Photo: Daniel Hayduk

President Kikwete has warned police about “a group of people” who plan to disrupt the upcoming referendum and election. Photo: Daniel Hayduk

President Jakaya Kikwete is warning police to be ready to face opposition from “a group of people” who plan to disrupt the referendum and election process.

“There are people who plan to cause trouble,” says Kikwete, speaking to newly graduated senior police officers at the Police Academy on Monday, March 23.

It’s up to the police to ensure the referendum and election are peaceful, he says.

Four key opposition parties, Chadema, CUF, NCCR – Mageuzi and National League for Democracy (NLD), have formed a coalition party to back one candidate for presidency and have also told their supporters to boycott the referendum.

Police Inspector General Ernest Mangu told Kikwete that police need more supplies in order to do their job well.

“We needed the equipment early — before elections — so that we can familiarize ourselves with them,” says Mangu.

At Monday’s event 290 police officers graduated, with many expected to become police commissioners and district police inspectors.

Read more: Election observers beaten, stop monitoring

Read more: Observers ready, draft constitution circulating

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