Results of Tanzania’s elections out in four days, says electoral body
With the massive turn out and cast of votes on Sunday in Tanzania’s presidential, general and local elections, votes are being counted with the Chairman, Tanzanian National Electoral Commission (NEC) retired Judge Damian Lubuva pledging to announce the winner within three to four days.
According to him, the election laws entails that the results should be announced early, within seven days from the day of voting and not more.
“We are planning to announce the presidential results as early as possible, that is within three to four days, if all goes well.
“We urge all Tanzanians to know that NEC will be receiving presidential results from constituencies, verify the results and ensure the result tally with all constituencies and make a public announcement of the winning candidate. NEC is the only institution tasked by the law to announce the winning presidential candidate. Results of the winning candidate announced by NEC are the only ones to be respected,” he said.
While some are already predicting victory for John Magufuli of the ruling party, former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, who has voiced concerns the poll may not be free or fair, is expected to make strong showing.
More than 23 million people were registered to vote in the general elections in a total of 64,736 voting stations out of which 63,156 voting centres are in Tanzania Mainland and 1,580 in Zanzibar semiautonomous region.
The electoral commission has ensured that political agents involved in the polls were not allowed to interfere with administrative responsibilities under the voting centre’s returning officer, as election results are being recorded in forms 21A, 21B and 21C.
These forms would be signed by the returning officer and political party agents and each of the agents would get a copy of all the results.
However during the elections, people living with disabilities, expectant women and the elderly who cannot stand in line for long were given priority in the polls described as generally peaceful across the country.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Ernest Mangu said “the security situation in the country is good except for some few crises and the force would ensure that the country remained peaceful and that any incident of lawlessness would be dealt with squarely as regional police commanders (RPCs) have been directed to do everything within their reach to make voters and all Tanzanians live without fear.”
However, the Director of Elections, Mr Kailima Ramadhani Kombwey, said there was crisis in Kimara Temboni area by voting officers who were demanding more pay leading to the destruction of ballot boxes and other important documents.
Also, about 200 youths armed with traditional weapons burnt vehicle stuffed with electoral materials including 45 ballot boxes alleging the boxes were filled with thumb printed ballot papers. The Rukwa Regional Police Commander (RPC), Jacob Mwaruanda said the incident happened in Zimba Village, Lake Rukwa Basin, in Kwela Constituency, Sumbawanga District but no casualty was recorded but eight people have been arrested. Meanwhile, reports from Chato Constituency have it that the presidential candidate of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), Dr John Magufuli, cast his vote at around 11am at Magufuli Primary School. According to the Chato Returning Officer, Mr Joel Ally, the exercise was equally conducted freely and peacefully with the possibility of announcing the results for new councillors and Member of Parliament (MP) soon.
While in the mainland, the only female presidential candidate, Anna Maghwira of ACT cast her vote in Kibaoni Primaru School in Singida. CUF Chadema presidential candidate, Edward Lowassa voted in Ngarash Primary school in Enguntoto Monduli District in Arusha region.
Nonetheless, the Labour Party (TLP) presidential candidate, Mr McMillan Lyimo had a different story. He was registered to vote in Dar es Salaam, but when he rounded up campaign in Vunjo Constituency in Moshi Rural District instead of going back to the capital, he called at Ghalani-Kilototoni Polling Centre, Himo Township, for voting, but he was told by the assistant returning officer to fill form number 18 to be allowed to vote for the presidential candidate only, but unfortunate, he was not with the voting ID card as he said he forgot it at home.
However in the semiautonomous region of Zanzibar, the presidential candidate of the CCM, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein and his wife, Mama Mwanamwema, voted in Bungi School in Unguja Central District. The union Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal, voted at Kiembesamaki School while the running mate for the Union presidential candidate, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan, voted at Kiembesamaki. The CUF’s Zanzibar Presidential candidate Maalim Seif Sharif hamad voted at Garagara’s Mtoni Kidatu in Zanzibar.
Meanwhile, President Jakaya Kikwete who is a retired army officer and veteran of the Tanzanian Uganda war said he was happy after serving the country for ten years as president.
He said “My successor will be able to perform his duties with great success only if the people accord him the necessary support to perform even more than what I received in the last ten years. Even if I decide to extend the leadership term, I cannot handle each and every issue on board. The Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, led for 23 years, yet he could not solve all the problems. He left the office to Mzee Ali Hassan Mwinyi to move on, who as well gave the relay stick to Mzee Benjamin Mkapa, who was my predecessor. The same applies to me. Someone else has to take over.”
President Kikwete was first elected as the 4th President of the United Republic of Tanzania on December 14, 2005 and re-elected on October 31, 2010. In his more than 30 years of public service, President Kikwete served in different capacities after he joined the Cabinet in 1988 where he held several ministerial portfolios, including Minister for Finance, Water, Energy and Minerals and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
He was the longest serving Foreign Minister in the history of Tanzania after serving for ten years. In 2007, Mr Kikwete was elected Chairman of the SADC on Security, Defence and Politics, where he was deeply involved in the search for peaceful solution to the political crises in Southern Africa region, including political crises in Zimbabwe and Lesotho.
In the local scene, he had set out an ambitious agenda for faster and sustained economic growth. On January 31, 2008, President Kikwete was elected Chairman of the African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government, where he took a proactive role in resolution of conflicts in the Republic of Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With the elections, he cannot afford to achieve less.