Tanzania: Final Day of Campaigning for Parties

Dar es Salaam — Fifteen political parties wind up their election campaigns today by holding rallies in different parts of the country ahead of tomorrow's General Election to elect a Union President, Union Parliamentarians and Councillors.

Today will be the culmination of two months of selling their parties' election manifestos, an electioneering journey that commenced on August 27, a day after nomination of candidates by the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

The sixth round schedule released by NEC shows that CCM will conclude campaigns by rallies in Dodoma and Morogoro administrative regions.

However, reports from the party yesterday had it that Union Presidential Candidate John Magufuli will conclude his campaigning by addressing the nation through a press conference in the national capital Dodoma.

Five opposition political parties - Chadema, CUF, UMD, ADC and Chaumma - will hold their final rallies in different venues in Dar es Salaam.

On the other hand, ACT-Wazalendo will conclude its campaigns in Lindi. Other political parties (and their rally locations in brackets) are: AAFP (Songwe); Ada Tadea (Simiyu); DM (Iringa); NCCR-Mageuzi (Coast); NRA (Kigoma/Tanga); Sau (Mara); UPDP (Mbeya), and DP (Songwe).

The rallies are the last opportunity for candidates of the political parties to convince voters to vote for them instead of rivals.

How did they campaign?

The political parties scrambled for voters across the land.

This could be probably because of available population; establishment of the opposition parties and abundant natural resources in respective areas.

Therefore, presidential candidates and respective running mates repeatedly campaigned in these areas mostly for CCM and Chadema.

The CCM presidential candidate, President John Magufuli and his running mate Samia Suluhu Hassan ceased the opportunity to tell voters what they implemented and future plans for 2020-25.

Chadema's presidential candidate Tundu Lissu and his running mate Salum Mwalimu Juma sought votes from citizens in order to fill what they referred to as the vacuum of freedom, justice and people's centred development.

ACT-Wazalendo promised to mobilize hard-working in order to record efficiency and ultimately citizens are happy.

Another opposition CUF pledged to provide equal justice and happiness for all saying CCM has disrupted the country's economy leaving citizens to live without happiness as justified by the World Happiness Report 2020 that ranks Tanzania fourth among countries with unhappy citizens.

Challenges

Major challenges that faced political parties during campaigns were disqualification of candidates for parliamentary seats and councillorship under what they referred as unfair grounds.

The move saw a total of 616 appeals filed by candidates for parliamentary seats and councillorships at the electoral body.

A NEC report released on September 18 shows that 160 appeals were for parliamentary seats, 456 petitions for councillorship and 25 were ranked as complaints.

In its decisions, NEC reinstated 66 candidates, 32 haven't been restored, 57 appeals to eliminate some candidates were rejected while five others were deemed to have been repeated.

Mr Lissu has been quoted several times as saying his party has lost 35 parliamentary candidates, similarly to ACT-Wazalendo that has lost key aspirants in the Mainland and Zanzibar.

Unopposed win

Disqualification of candidates has awarded CCM with 28 CCM parliamentarians and 870 councillors which is equivalent to 22 percent of 3,955 councillorship allocated seats.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa who is the Ruangwa Constituency parliamentary seat elect and member of the CCM member of the Central Committee as well as other party cadres campaigned for the party all over the country.

Financial crunch

Political parties were strongly hit by the financial crisis therefore negatively affecting campaigns effectiveness and efficiency.

Though CCM didn't unveil its budget it was the only stable political party during this year's campaigns with placards of its candidates scattered in all corners of the country.

Others including Chadema and ACT-Wazalendo embarked into fundraising from members attending campaign rallies and through bank accounts and mobile money numbers made public to cadres, members and supporters.

The situation was tense to small parties some of which decided to stage their campaigns at market places, social media and bus stations.

Shortage of campaign materials (placards)

Financial crisis left CCM as the only political party that dominated candidates' adverts as other political parties couldn't prepare enough election materials including posters, scuffs, flags and other garments as compared to previous years.

Bernard Membe

After launching his election campaigns at the Mpilipili Grounds in Lindi Region on September 1, this year Mr Membe went missing, something that prompted party leader Zitto Kabwe and national chairman Seif Shariff Hamad to endorse Mr Lissu.

However, Mr Membe a week ago promised to hold injury time campaigns and emerge victorious, he couldn't deliver.

Commentators

Reacting on this year's campaigns, the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) Political Science lecturer, Dr Richard Mbunda, commended the CCM and Chadema presidential candidates for doing justice to their parties' election manifestos.

"These were really the two horses in the race as others were just 'all-rans!' They have given voters a broad opportunity to elect the best candidates tomorrow," he said.

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