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Why men should have been afraid of the dark

The stories included accounts of screaming spirits that reportedly claimed human lives in the area whenever their voices screeched at midnight. 

This may be regarded as fairy tales but real sagas from the just ended by-elections have proved to be scarier than the old macabre folklores.
 
Within 24 hours before the 127,400 plus voters queued to ink their ballot papers yesterday one person was reported to have been sprayed with a chemical believed to be acid, one driver earlier on carjacked and his skull broken and left for dead in a deep gorge and while you read this another person is still missing, presumably dead.

In the first incident, Mr Zablon Yusuph (28), a member of the Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) was sprayed with stinging liquid which he claimed to be acid but turned out to be pepper spray according to the Police.
 
The victim suffered the attack when he and seven other CHADEMA members were pursuing people who had reportedly car-jacked their fellow members in the Leganga area of Meru. They claimed to have previously been in a pub in Usa River area at about three hours past midnight, something which the Regional Crime Officer Mr Leonard Paul wondered aloud; "Really? In the wee hours of the morning what exactly were those victims doing?"

 Anyway according to the victims they were summoned to go to the rescue of people who were abducted by some unknown people and when they eventually caught up with them, a fight broke out and Mr Yusuph was sprayed with the chemical and he is currently admitted at Nkoaranga hospital.

Much earlier on, one of the campaign officials for the Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) Mr Omary Abdul, had mysteriously gone missing and his wife who reported the incident, wonders if Mr Abdul was alive.
 
The Arusha Regional Police Commander (RPC) Mr Thobias Andengenye confirmed the alleged disappearance of Mr Abdul, popularly known as "Mr Matelefone," a resident of Sakina area in Arusha City who since March 25 has not been seen both at home and his work place. The Police are still searching for the missing person and since his disappearance nothing has been heard about Mr Matelefone.
 
A close acquaintance of the missing CHADEMA partisan, Mr Chris Mbajo said Mr Abdul disappeared after one of the party's campaign rallies on March 25, after he was seen quarrelling with a CCM youth-winger Mr Benno Malisa at the Blue Tripple A" night club in Sakina.  Contacted by phone, Mr Malisa answered shortly; "I have never known nor seen a person going under that name!"
 
While one party official is missing, another CHADEMA campaigner and who works as a taxi driver, Mr Juma Ally (32), a resident of Tengeru is still in critical condition after being car-jacked and beaten up last week.
 
The time was about 8.30 pm when some unknown people under the pretext of hiring his taxi with plate numbers T-563 BTM asked to be driven to Maji ya Chai area from Tengeru.  Along the way he was hit on the head, lost consciousness only to wake up at Patandi hospital with a bandaged head.

It is assumed that the thugs drove Mr Ally into the wilderness, beat him up before dumping his body inside a gulley, leaving him there for dead.
 
The CHADEMA member who suspects politics to have been behind his attack was discovered in Usa River area, naked and bleeding profusely from a deep wound on his forehead where a very sharp object allegedly was used to him.
 
All these incidences have been connected to the by-elections for Arumeru East constituency in which six parties, including CHADEMA and the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) are contesting.
 
Speaking with difficulty at Patandi Hospital, Ally said he was carjacked in the night of March 27 by a group of knife wielding people, who ordered him to drive to Makumira, but along the way he believes he was hit and lost consciousness.
 
Mr Ally said even now an unmarked Toyota Noah wagon keeps driving by the hospital with people wearing dark eye glasses patrolling the hospital and is appealing for security.
 
The number of casualties who suffered mishaps during the three weeks of hot campaigns in Meru will be known in a few days' time from now, when all parties, the police and local authorities take stock of what transpired throughout the period.
 
The police said many of the said chaos were recorded long after the campaign deadline of 6.00 pm, which means if all politicians chose to retire after the rallies the mishaps would have been avoided.

It is through these concerns that, authorities in Meru decided that results be announced at a chosen precinct where the anti-riot police have set up camp. Located at the Mji Mpya area of Usa River the place is also adjacent to the local police station.

The ghastly events leading up to Meru polls have raised fear among local authorities to the extent of changing the venue for results announcement, under normal circumstances, this is usually done at the District Offices.

HAVE you ever thought of the risks facing ...

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Mwandishi: Staff Writer

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