Tanzania’s Opposition Chadema Seeks Answers Ahead Of Oct 28 Elections

Tundu Lissu

Tanzania’s former MP and presidential candidate of the Chadema main opposition party Tundu Lissu speaks during the offical launch of the party’s election campaign at Mbagala Zakhem in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on August 28, 2020. Ericky Boniphace | AFP cit


DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania|SHIFTMEDIA| Tanzania’s Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) on Saturday demanded answers from the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the police regarding seven issues linked to the October 28 General Election.

NEC is supposed to disclose a company contracted to produce ballot papers, provide voter permanent registry to political parties and introduce a results management system to election stakeholders.

The electoral body is also required to respond on the party’s complaints filed against CCM presidential candidate — President John Pombe Magufuli — and provide copies of results declaration forms to political parties.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro has been urged to sack Hai Officer Commanding District (OCD) and give answers to “escalated injustice and crackdown” against the opposition.

The party’s Secretary-General John Mnyika said earlier reports made in June showed that a South African firm, Ms Ren-Form CC, had been contracted to prepare and supply ballot papers, but recent reports have been citing Jamana Printers for the job.

“NEC should tell Tanzanians which company between the two has been contracted for the job because we are aware that some of Jamana Printers executives are CCM members. We need assurance to satisfy ourselves with the safety of ballot papers,” he told reporters at the party headquarters.

Take matters seriously

He cautioned the electoral body to take the matters raised seriously to avoid future legal disputes like what happened in Kenya in 2017.

He said the electoral body did not disclose the company’s name even during the commission’s procurement and logistics committee, which convened its meeting on October 8 this year.

The former Kibamba Constituency MP said Chadema also wants to know when the voter permanent registrar consisting of names of voters and their pictures would be accessible to political parties.

“We need the document’s hard copy instead of the soft copy provided earlier consisting of names of voters only. This is an important document at polling stations in establishing voter eligibility, hence NEC should speed up the process,” he said.

Also, he demanded that the election results management system be introduced to political parties before training of election supervisors and assistants and that it be effectively used during elections.

Assess system

He said political parties’ information and technology experts need to assess the system before training election supervisors and assistant supervisors for the October 28 General Election.

Mr Mnyika said Chadema wants answers on complaints filed against CCM presidential candidate, Dr Magufuli, for campaigning during the commissioning of the Mbezi Luis International Bus Terminal on Thursday.

“That wasn’t a CCM function, rather a government event which spent taxpayers’ money. But Dr Magufuli campaigned for himself and the party’s candidates hence violating the electoral code of ethics,” he said, adding, “Apart from campaigning contrary to the released schedule, he used state-owned resources. Therefore, we filed complaints to the commission’s Ethics Committee on Friday and gave the electoral body yet another trial.”

Regarding election results declaration forms, Mr Mnyika said NEC should provide political parties with copies of the document, saying denying some agents the document on election day will not be accepted.

He said they were surprised by IGP Sirro’s decision not to form a committee to investigate violations on the Police General Order by Hai OCD.

He said the OCD had publicly told the party’s parliamentary candidate Freeman Mbowe that he would not win the election. (SOURCE/CITIZEN)

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