Dar es Salaam — Chadema national chairperson Mr Freeman Mbowe has told people not to boycott voters' registration, arguing that inaction has never been a strategy to solve critical national issues.
The Hai Member of Parliament (Chadema) was speaking during a press briefing at the party's headquarters today, September 15, 2019, a day after the government extended the deadline for voters' registration for three days. Initially the exercise was scheduled to be completed on Monday, October 14
"Although there are possibilities that the elections might be marred by irregularities just like the previous ones, but boycotting them isn't the best option," said Mr Mbowe.
He pleaded with Chadema's leaders across the country to sensitize people to register for upcoming elections before the extended deadline.
"You cannot be a coward and expect to change this country. Go and register to make your voice heard on how your neighborhood's affairs should be run," he said.
With that respect, Mr Mbowe urged the government to let the political parties and other actors work to mobilise their people for the exercise, saying using district commissioners and regional commissioners will bear no fruit. This is because, he said, "they don't have any legitimacy and it's against a common sense to think that people will pay any attention to them."
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Mr Mbowe pointed out that what's happening at present--the slow moving of the voters registration exercise-- is a direct consequence of neglecting what the opposition parties have been decrying for the past four years.
"We made a lot of noise that people's basic freedoms are being stifled on the daily basis but we were ignored. How then can anyone think that a person who has been denied his/her freedom of expression or assembly for four years have any interest in registering for vote?" he asked.
Mr Mbowe asked those in power to refrain from doing or saying things that will anger the people and make them hate the country's electoral system, saying that does not portend well for the country's multiparty democracy.