WINNER: Return To Work, Magufuli Tells Tanzanians After Winning Elections

John Pombe Magufuli won the second time FILE PHOTO


DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania|SHIFTMEDIA| “We cast our votes in a peaceful way, we also witnessed Tanzania receive the results in a peaceful way, this has proven to the world that Tanzanians are mature when it comes to elections and democracy, but we have also proven to the world that Tanzanians love peace. Now that the election is over, it is time to go back to work.” 

These were the comments made by John Pombe Magufuli after he received the election certificate for winning the Tanzanian polls with a whopping 84% in elections marred by violence unrest and voter intimidation.

The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party candidate – who according to the electoral body won 84% of the vote while rival Tundu Lissu of the Chadema party received 13%, affirmed his win and announced that he has no intention of seeking a third term.

Magufuli appealed to the nation to email calm and peaceful.

Regional experts of Tanzania Elections Watch noted a heavy deployment of military and police whose conduct created a “climate of fear” as others allege election-related fraud and intimidation.

The opposition alleges widespread irregularities including double-voting and ballot box-seizing by security forces or other authorities. Main rival Lissu has rejected the result and called for peaceful protests. The East African nation is one of Africa’s most populous countries and fastest-growing economies. Magufuli has highlighted the country’s achievement of lower-middle-income status as justification for him deserving a second time.

Some observers believe that Tanzania’s reputation for democratic ideals is crumbling as Magufuli has been accused of severely stifling dissenting voices in his first five-year term. Opposition political gatherings were banned in 2016, the year after he took office. Media outlets have been targeted. Some candidates were arrested, blocked from campaigning or disqualified ahead of the vote.

There are still concerns about post-election violence.

Opposition Leader arrested

Meanwhile, Tanzanian police have arrested Freeman Mbowe, the leader of the main opposition party Chadema, according to Tundu Lissu, the party’s candidate in last week’s presidential election.

The opposition has demanded a repeat election, citing widespread irregularities, and called for protests against the outcome, which returned President John Magufuli to the office with 84% of the vote.

Those arrested with Mbowe include a former member of parliament Godbless Lema, the former mayor of Dar es Salaam, Isaya Mwita, and the former mayor of Ubungo municipality, Boniface Jacob.

“I got a message around midnight that they had been taken in,” Lissu told Reuters on Monday.

Mwananchi, a privately-owned daily that publishes in Swahili, quoted Dar es Salaam’s regional police commander Lazaro Mambosasa as saying they had detained Mbowe and other opposition leaders.

The United States has said it was concerned about reports showing “systematic interference in the democratic process”, while Britain said it was “troubled by the reports of violence and heavy-handed policing in the elections”.

Shift Media News

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