Tanzania: Five Presidential Aspirants Condemn Hate Speech

FIVE presidential aspirants in Dar es Salaam yesterday condemned the use of foul language that is likely to incite violence in the ongoing General Election campaigns.

They said it came to their attention that some political parties are indulging in the use of peace-breaching language in the ongoing campaigns, knowing the consequences of the practice.

The candidates who turned up before reporters in Dar es Salaam to strongly speak against the practice include Queen Sendiga of Alliance Democratic Party(ADC), Mutamwega Mgaywa from Sauti ya Umma (SAU), Philipo Fumbo from Democratic Party(DP), Said Maalim Seif from Alliance for African Farmers Party (AAFP) and Cecilia Mwanga from Demokrasia Makini.

They jointly echoed their sentiments against the use of hate speech, saying they are not satisfied with the way some candidates from several political parties are carrying out their campaigns.

They said some of them are using language or words that may incite violence in the communities or in the country at large, insisting that they didn't expect such eventualities to occur in the ongoing campaigns.

The observation, criticism and alert from the five presidential candidates comes with only 39 days remaining for Tanzanians to elect the president, members of parliament and Councillors who will lead them in the next five years.

"Tanzania's peace and tranquility is a number one priority. The ongoing trend where some candidates utter words that may incite chaos puts the country's peace at stake. They should realise that there is life after election," said Ms Queen Sendiga.

She asked the office of Registrar of Political Parties, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and law enforcement organs, including security apparatus to track all politicians whose utterances jeopardise the country's peace and tranquility.

She said some utterances have been inciting hatred among Tanzanians, cautioning that if they go unchecked, they may bring about horrendous consequences to the nation.

AAFP Presidential candidate, Mr Said Maalim Seif, said all political parties had the same objective of leading the nation in case they got electorate's approval through the ballot box, adding that propagating hatred for the sake of power was improper.

"Each presidential candidate should consider themselves victorious since the polling day is still away. Therefore, they should not propagate hatred as a strategy to win the electorate's hearts," he said.

Ms Cecilia Mwanga of Demokrasia Makini on her part said politics should not be the source of conflicts, adding that there is no reason for candidates to produce utterances that may bring about breach of peace.

According to Ms Mwanga, political parties should focus on selling their election manifestos to voters by explaining what they will do in case they win the election on October 28.

SAU presidential candidate, Mr Mutamwega Mgaywa and DP candidate, Mr Philipo Fumbo said their parties are governed by the principle of peace and love, asking other political parties to emulate them.

NEC Director of Election, Dr Wilson Charles has all along been warning parties against the use of hate speech in the ongoing campaigns.

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