Tanzania Polls Credible, Says Continental Body

Tanzania elections are set for 28 October 2020.

THE Centre for International Policy Africa (CIP), who had sent observers for the General Election of Tanzania which was held on October 28th, this year have declared it credible.

They said despite the low turnout, the CIP members commend the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) for good preparations of the election, the process of campaign and the election in general to be conducted in a peaceful manner.

"It was a peaceful, free and fair election," said the CIP President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Omar Mjenga in Dar es Salaam.

He said many people were aware of politicians and their election agendas, but did not know why many voters didn't appear to fulfill their constitutional rights.

Mr Mjenga said they came to witness and observe how the election was conducted and to come up with what they have seen in the polling station from stage to stage, until the results were announced.

"We had enough observers in the field, and they recommended NEC/ZEC to convene a meeting with all accredited observers to share lessons and findings of what transpired during the election for further improvement of the process and observation exercise," he explained.

Mr Mjengwa said after observing the low turnout of voters during the Election Day, they called upon a review of why it happened despite massive political awareness of the process.

He mentioned the lesson they leant from the 2020 Tanzania election includes the high degree of stakeholders' tolerance, which contributed to a peaceful and orderly campaign.

Also, there were committed efforts from both electoral commissions engaging different stakeholders, including religious, youth, women, political parties, the police, civil societies, international community and the public.

"We encourage the commission to continue improving the level of engagement," he said.

According to him, the mission observed measures by security organs to ensure peaceful elections and the media coverage of the process compared to the 2015 elections, saying this time media coverage improved and significantly all candidates were given similar coverage.

The CIP deployed more than 100 observers across the country to observe the general election.

It deployed its observer in 17 regions, which include Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Iringa Kilimanjaro, Kigoma Mara, Mbeya, Mtwara, Mwanza, Lindi, Rukwa, Ruvuma, Tabora, Tanga, Pemba and Ungunja.

However, CIP members mentioned challenges which they observed, including where some electoral officials were not conversant with rules and procedures governing elections, and therefore, they suggested a through training programme to electoral officers.

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