Tanzania: Don't Boycott Elections, Religious Leaders Advise

MORE religious leaders have jumped on the bandwagon of persuading Tanzanians to vote in next Sunday's local government election, with Youthful Pentecostal Church becoming the new entrant.

Apart from urging Tanzanian to demonstrate the democratic right and vote, they blasted those who encourage for boycott.

The call by religious leaders not to boycott the elections started last Sunday, when the President of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), Archbishop Gervas Nyaisonga urged Tanzanians and Catholics in general not to boycott the elections.

The TEC president who was speaking during the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the priesthood of Bishop Liberatus Sangu of Shinyanga diocese said that boycotting the elections was not a solution to challenges, saying that these challenges will be solved by voting in good leaders.

"Tanzanians must know that this nation is under God's control, there is peace which prevails all the time. I call upon Tanzanians to disregard misleading politician's and vote for the leaders of their choice, because the bible says that casting votes settles disputes and keeps strong opponents apart," said Apostle Moses Mwakisunga of Bread of Life Church.

Another outspoken preacher, Apostle Comando Mashimo, said that for people to reach a common understanding, they must vote for their leaders, saying that even in religious organisations, leaders are attained through voting.

Mashimo went on to say that it was ungodly for people to boycott elections, because the Bible warns that a man who isolates himself seeks his own desire.

"Some of the politicians are after personal interests, people should be watchful not to be caught in their traps, instead they should prioritize national interests as the word of God directs," he said.

Dar es Salam regional Chief Sheikh, Alhadj Mussa Salum was quoted by local media advising all conflicting political parties to put aside their differences and grant people a democratic opportunity of voting for the leaders of their choice.

"Boycotting elections is denying people an opportunity to elect leaders of their choice. I call upon citizens to vote for hardworking people who are ready to protect the country's resources.

Voting for leaders is part of worshiping the creator," he said.

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