Tanzania: NEC - We're Prepared Against COVID-19 During Voter Registration

THE National Electoral Commission (NEC) is well prepared with measures to prevent coronavirus spread, especially mid this month, when it will start voter registration exercise second phase upgrade.

Making the revelation during a meeting with political parties in Dar es Salaam recently, NEC Chairman, Judge (rtd) Semistocles Kaijage further said: "We have already purchased enough protective items required to take precautionary measures against the COVID-19."

He said the commission has directed its staff that would be updating the register to stick to public health measures, which keep off coronavirus spread.

The second phase of the exercise will go in line with displaying the voter register at the registration centres to allow the public verify their registered particulars.

He said the whole processes will start on 17th this month and proceed to 4th May, this year countrywide, adding that all the activities (upgrading and primarily displaying the voter registers) will run for three days in every region.

According to the commission, some 4006 registration centres will be used during the exercises including Z anzibar.

Judge Kaijage said 12 regions of Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Tanga, Mara, Simiyu, Mwanza, Shinyanga Geita, Kagera, Kigoma and Tabora will start on 17 th to 19th April 2020.

Equally, he mentioned Katavi, Rukwa, Singida, Dodoma, Iringa, Songwe, Njombe, Ruvuma, Lindi, Mtwara, Morogoro, Coast and Dar es Salaam regions including the ones in Z anzibar that they will resume the exercise on 2nd to 4th May 2020.

In the upgrade, eligible voters will be required to visit the registration centres to verify their poll details or use voter's interaction system in their mobile phones.

In a related development, Judge Kaijage has asked political parties to stick to the electoral laws, rules and procedures, while upgrading their voters' registrations.

"I call upon those who have not yet registered and are eligible to come out and register as early as possible, because this will avoid inconveniences, which may occur later," he said, while calling upon the public especially those to be involved to take precautionary measures against the coronavirus.

Speaking during the meeting, a political leader John Shibuda asked NEC to take heed of President Magufuli's directive of ensuring free, fair and transparent elections is respected during the October general elections.

The politician said that NEC should put in place frequent meetings with the political leaders and stakeholders to gather views towards the peaceful running of the elections.

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