Tanzania: Preparations for Polls in Top Gear, Says Ras

PREPARATIONS for the general election in Mwanza Region are almost over, with all facilities, including ballot

papers, forms, stamps and ink already being handed to constituencies.

Mwanza Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) Emmanuel Tutuba told the 'Daily News' that not only materials, but also the National Electoral Commission (NEC) had already disbursed financial resources to all nine constituencies in the region.

"We have 4,996 polling stations in the region. They will all receive election facilities tomorrow (today) and all agents have been sworn in. Training for supervisors and their assistants is underway. Each polling station should

have a security officer, the chief clerk, his/her assistants and election agents. All polling stations will be open from 07:00am to 4:00pm," said the RAS.

He noted that already police officers had camped in some areas of the region, mostly in islands.

"Theycamped early because the areas are not easily reached, in case of emergency."

At the same time, Mwanza regional religious leaders' Peace Committee co-chairman, Bishop Charles Sekelwa asked his fellow religious leaders to avoid involving themselves in political activities to avoid incitement.

He said some religious leaders were encouraging their followers to vote for the candidates of their choice, which could lead to the

breach of the peace.

"There are incitement words uttered by politicians such as kitanuka, we will get on the road, we must protect our votes and many others are not acceptable at all. Parents should also prohibit their children from being used by politicians and

people should leave the polling station after voting and go straight to their homes," advised the bishop.

Mwanza Regional Sheikh Hassan Kabeke advised NEC to help people with special needs in the voting exercise and urged the police to maintain peace all the time, adding that: "Let candidates and all people accept the results."

Mwanza Regional Police Commander (RPC) Jumanne Muliro asked members of the public to show up in big numbers for voting, assuring them of peace and tranquility at any corner of the region.

He also asked all servants, be it agents and supervisors to abide by election directives and procedures to avoid any chaos.

"We also insist people to leave voting stations and wait for the results while in their homes. The police are well-prepared to maintain the peace. Let people show up to elect the leaders of their choice," said the RPC

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