Tanzania: Magufuli Asked to Sack Election Officials

Ruling CCM presidential candidate, John Magufuli.

Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania Political Parties Council (TPPC) yesterday called on President John Magufuli to sack election supervisors and their assistants who caused unfair disqualification of many candidates in the nation's history.

The nomination process for parliament and local council candidates ignited outcries from political parties, describing the exercise as flagrantly unfair.

As a result, hundreds of appeals from parliamentary candidates and thousands others from council seats aspirants were filed with the

National Electoral Commission (NEC) against disqualifications from this year's elections. However, the electoral body reinstated some candidates who are now going on with election campaigns ahead of October 28, General Election.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, TPPC chairman John Shibuda said Dr Magufuli should sack poll officials for their role in messing up the electoral processes.

"Despite being the presidential candidate, Dr Magufuli is still our president - and that's why the Council wants returning officers and the assistants involved in the vice sacked," he said.

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He added that "most election executives have baptized them- selves patriotic citizens, therefore voluntarily carrying responsibilities aimed at impressing the President without knowing that they are spoiling his image."

Mr Shibuda, who doubles as Ada-Tadea chairman and party's presidential candidate, said NEC doesn't have an investigation department, hence it relies on reports from its executives to unveil the truth on certain issues.

Therefore, he said, NEC decisions (fair/unfair) would depend on reports provided by its executives (supervisors and assistants).

"Students pass or fail examinations basing on answers written in papers with those making accurate responses passing and those pro- viding inaccurate answers failing," he said.

Evaluating 30 days of campaigns so far, Mr Shibuda called on political parties to avoid emotional campaigns that would threaten the country's unity and solidarity.

He pleaded with political parties and respective candidates to issue statements that promote nationalism and protect national values including personality, humanity; peace and tranquillity as well as proper use of kiswahili.

"Candidates should avoid debates that promote confrontation. They should focus on winning arguments. Use of veiled language aimed at spreading messages of hate and disunity should be avoid- ed at all costs," he warned.

Mr Shibuda said multiparty system should help the country to get best management to improve provision of social services such as health and education as well as leading to growth of revenue collections on available resources.

"Therefore, political parties should assess themselves and take corrective measures and remember to be public relations officials in promoting the multiparty system," he said.

He commended security organs for an outstanding job done so far, cautioning politicians and candidates to avoid making provocative and emotional statements that would force security personnel to go for excessive force.

The vocal politician said Tanzanians have a debt to pay over patience of security forces and implement President Magufuli's promise to hold free, fair and credible elections.

According to him, citizens should attend campaign rallies; listen to policies in manifestos and vote for appropriate candidates in different positions.

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