Tanzania: Religious Leaders Call for Corruption-Free Elections

RELIGIOUS leaders have been implored to preach human rights, including the right to vote and be voted, a move that will enable their followers to refrain from corruption, especially in this election period.

The call was made yesterday in Dar es Salaam during the religious leaders meeting, to discuss the rights and community participation in the 2020 General Election.

Kagera Regional Sheikh, Haruna Kichwabuta said, given the fact that religious leaders were in a better position to have audiences with both voters and contestants at ago, then the clerics should preach the right to vote or to be voted for, without being involved in corruption.

"Giving bribe means you have bought your right and receiving means you have sold it. You are all losers... .Corruption is the source of disharmony and violence, when one gives brib to get votes and lose, his/her followers resort to riots, opposing ballot results," said Sheikh Kichwabuta.

"Corruption is an enemy of the peace. When somebody deserves to win and loses because she/he has no money to bribe voters, violence occurs. Preaching and educating our worshipers on this important human right ( to vote and be voted) is among main and important tasks to us- religious leaders," he insisted..

On his part, Bishop of Zanzibar, Augustine Shao, argued that snubbing voters' registration exercises could be another source of peace breaching as some people might have selected their people mentally but never voted for them.

Bishop Shao recalled that in the 1995 general election, many youths did not show up for registration but got in riots after leaders of their choice failed to win.

"This is our noble task- to remind our followers to show up for registration and voting exercises. We should also educate them to respect and accept the results that are declared by relevant authorities such as the National Electoral Commission, after voting," said the bishop.

Dar es Salaam Regional Sheikh, Mr Alhad Salum supported the motion, saying all authorities on Earth are Godgiven, hence, everyone should respect and adhere to their directives.

He stressed that both winning and losing were results of contesting, thus, contestants and their followers must respect the results.

"Everyone should believe that it is our Almighty God who gives and takes. What comes your way is what God gives you and what goes away isn't yours... it is what He gives to another person... . accept the results and respect His authorities he created on the Earth... never go for peace breaching trials simply because you haven't won something," insisted Sheikh Salum.

On October 28, this year, Tanzania will hold its sixth general election since the reintroduction of multipartism in the country in 1992. The first general election under multiparty politics was conducted in 1995.

The October polls will enable Tanzanians to elect the president, members of parliament and councillors. Currently, most of the registered political parties are finalising their primary elections.

President John Magufuli will be seeking re-election after being chosen earlier this month as the candidate of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.

Chadema, meanwhile, has endorsed the party's Deputy Chairman Tundu Lissu as their candidate.

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