Tanzania: Act's Hamad Demands Transparent, Free Polls

LEADERS of ACT-Wazalendo in Zanzibar led by their Islands' presidential candidate, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad yesterday said that they will only accept defeat if the Wednesday's polls will be conducted transparently without any element of rigging.

At the climax of their 45th day of election campaigns held at Mnazi Mmoja grounds in the Stone Town, the leaders asked the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the police to be fair in all stages of elections to build trust. "We want fair play if at all we shall be defeated," Hamad said to his cheering followers at the ground.

As a promise to the voters, he further said his government will be tough on people, who abuse children and women, adding that their government will increase universal pension for senior citizens.

"We will be serious on any abuse," Hamad added, while asking campaign rally electorate to vote for him so that he becomes their next president, after President Ali Mohamed Shein, whose term expires when a new leader assumes power.

He said his government, if elected, will ensure people with special needs (including those living with HIV, disabilities) live respectable lives with proper care, and senior citizens served with monthly pension increased from the current 20,000/- to 100,000/-.

"Under my government, everyone in Zanzibar will be happy with great respect to the elderly. Just make sure you vote for me, you will never regret your decision," said the ACT-Wazalendo presidential aspirant.

He further said there will be zero tolerance on corruption and people who abuse children, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and people living with HIV.

The Zanzibar government under the outgoing President Ali Mohamed Shein introduced the universal pension scheme in April 2016, winning global praise.

The current government has also made great reforms in laws controlling Gender Based Violence (GBV) which includes making rape cases amongst others non-bailable offences.

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police (CP) Zanzibar Mohamed Haji yesterday warned that stability and peace of the area will not be compromised, adding that any violator will meet full police wrath.

"We need to vote peacefully on October 27 for special voters and on October 28 for the general public, avoid unnecessary tension," said the police head.

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