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Anxiety as 'fake' ballot papers discovered during Tanzania poll

By Wilfred Ayaga | October 26th 2015

There was anxiety in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, following reports of fake ballot papers being discovered in Iringa, Southern Tanzania.

This was the main subject of discussion in voting queues and in buses Sunday.

Local media also carried the reports, which have been fodder for Opposition supporters in the capital.

Tanzanian newspaper Mtanzania, reported that the ballot papers reportedly marked in favour of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi, were discovered in Njombe Sunday at around 1:45 am.

A government vehicle allegedly transporting the fake ballots was stopped by youth who demanded that the suspicious vehicle be opened for inspection.

According to Mtanzania, supporters of the Opposition claimed that the papers were set for distribution to a number of polling stations.

The paper reported that the youth threatened to set the vehicle on fire, forcing its occupants to give in to their demands. Police were called.

"After inspection, the vehicle was found to be carrying some boxes belonging to the ruling party," the paper reported. Reports that the fake papers had been discovered went viral on social media.

"It is good that the ballot boxes were discovered. Our only fear is how many others were not discovered," said an Opposition supporter in the city.

Party T-shirts

The paper also quoted the Njombe acting Police Commander Wilibroad Mutafugwa, confirming the incident, but said that the material being transported was not fake ballots, but t-shirts belonging to the ruling party.

According to Mr Mutafugwa, the angry crowds were dispersed by police.

Claims of planned rigging have dominated Tanzanian media in the run up to Sunday's vote. Among those who have made the claims are senior Opposition figures.

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