SPEAKER of Zanzibar’s House of Representatives, Mr Pandu Ameir Kificho temporarily cancelled Friday’s morning session due to a boycott by Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) backbenchers.

“According to the House regulations section 72, business in the House can only proceed with at least half of the 82 members in the House. We are only 24 at this time,” Mr Omar Ali Shehe (CUF-Chakechake) complained to the speaker. In response to the legislator’s concern, the Speaker adjourned the session for about five to ten minutes as he ordered the boycotters to return to the session.

They returned to the House and the number increased to 45 a quorum required for business to resume. CCM backbenchers boycotted the House on Thursday morning protesting the unrest and asked the Speaker to allow a private motion to discuss political situation in the Islands but the Speaker rejected the motion.

CCM backbenchers blamed the Government and police for not doing enough to stop the unrest in the Stone Town. The unrest has greatly affected business in Stone Town, scaring away tourists.In a related incidence, it was reported that a man named Salum Hassan, 30, was shot dead on Thursday night when he and four others attempted to break into an alcohol store.

The Commissioner of Police- Zanzibar Mr Mussa Ali Mussa said that death had not been reported to the police at that time, however sources claim the deceased was shot by a soldier from the Zanzibar Unit who was guarding the store at Amani area. Four others were injured.On Tuesday night a police officer from Field Force Unit (FFU) was killed by thugs armed with machetes as he was riding back home from duty.

More than 51 people are in police custody for taking part in the unrest linked to the alleged disappearance of Muslim cleric Sheikh Farid Hadi Ahmed. It was relatively calm in most parts of Zanzibar after riot police took control. Only spotted incidents of clashes between police and few youths were reported after Friday prayers.

In a related development, the Zanzibar Broadcasting Commission (ZBC) has ordered all broadcasting station in Zanzibar not to cover news about Uamsho, the Muslim Islam group accused of causing unrest in Zanzibar.

In a letter dated 19/10/2012 to the station, signed by Ms Mtumwa Mzee, on behalf of the executive director of the Commission, it states that a blackout should be observed immediately, and TVs and radio stations should not cover UAMSHO or risk disciplinary measures.