Tanzania: We'll Hold Free, Fair 2020 General Election - Magufuli

Tanzania president John Magufuli in Malawi.

Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli yesterday assured that 2020 general election will be peaceful, free, fair and transparent, saying the government will also allow international agencies and observers to come and monitor the polls procedure.

The general election slated for October, this year will be held to elect the President, Members of Parliament and Councillors.

"General election is mandatory for any democratic nation like Tanzania. Therefore, the government is determined to embrace justice, transparency and freedom during the election," said President Magufuli when he addressed diplomats during a sherry party held at State House in the commercial city.

The televised ceremony brought together government officials, ambassadors, high commissioners to Tanzania and representatives of international agencies and organizations.

The Head of State during the event further reassured the delegates of the government's continued commitment to improve business and investment environment, among other areas.

Furthermore, he reiterated the government's commitment to continue collaborating with the international community and regional groupings in embracing democracy and maintaining peace and security in the region, particularly in DR Congo.

Referring to climate change crisis, the President said Tanzania would continue putting in place deliberate efforts to combat climate change including the implementation of international instrument such as the Paris Agreement of 2015 to address climate change.

"My condolences to SADC countries including South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar and Zimbabwe that were hit by natural calamities attributable to climate change," said the President.

"Last year the government banned the use of carrier plastic bags in efforts to converse the environment from pollution," said Dr Magufuli.

Furthermore, the President highlighted that the implementation of the 2,100MW Nyerere Hydro Power project on Rufiji River is in line with the government's efforts to combat climate change in Tanzania.

"The majority of the citizens have been using charcoal due to the shortage of reliable power. As a result, about 400,000 acres of forest are destroyed per year," said the President.

The Head of State further raised optimism, saying the implementation of the Rufiji hydroelectric power project would help reduce the production and consumption of charcoal for various uses, mainly as domestic source of fuel.

Before he ended his speech, the Head of State assured the ambassadors and high commissioners and representatives of international organizations that the government was aware of tax refund complaints, however he noted that the challenge was attributed to some unfaithful stakeholders.

He, therefore, ordered the Tanzania Revenue Authority to speed up verification of documents and start issuing tax refund to qualified individuals and companies.

Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi reiterated during the occasion the government's commitment to continue strengthening the bilateral relations and partnerships with the nations.

The envoys applauded President Magufuli for his efforts towards implementing various exemplary development projects in Tanzania.

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