Tanzania: Schedule for NGOs Council Delayed Elections Finally Out

Dar es Salaam — The National Council of NGOs (NaCoNGO) will begin holding its long overdue elections on June 21.

This follows the release yesterday of the election schedule by the ten-member transitional National Election Committee appointed by the government recently.

The electoral process will kick off on June 21 when aspirants will start to collect candidacy forms in 139 districts, and end on July 10 with the handing over of office and the relevant documents to the new national leaders.

June 24 is the deadline for returning forms, which will be scrutinised by district community development officers and the National Election Committee on June 25.

Elections at the district level will take place on June 26, and will be followed by the election of NaCoNGO regional representatives in 26 regions from June 28 to July 2.

The election of the representatives of international organisations and special groups (people living with HIV, people with disabilities and children) has been scheduled for July 5 in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma.

NaCoNGO national leaders - namely, the chairperson, secretary-general and treasurer - will be elected on July 8 in Dodoma. The election of chairpersons of the Administration and Finance; Capacity Building; Ethics, and Communication and Advocacy sub-committees will also be held on the same day, as will the election of members of the Coordination Board.

The new national leaders will be sworn in on July 9 in Dodoma, and the handing over of office will take place in Dar es Salaam on July 10.

The Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Dorothy Gwajima, appointed the Election Committee earlier this month, and directed it to organise elections within 30 days.

"The last time elections were held was in 2016, and the council was supposed to hold its next elections in 2019, but there has been a lot of evasion. As a result, nothing has happened," she said.

Members of the committee include Ms Flaviana Charles, chairperson of the Coalition for Women Human Rights Defenders in Tanzania (CWHRDsTZ); Mr Francis Kiwanga, executive director of the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS); Dr Tulli Tuhuma of JSI, and Mr Edward Porokwa, coordinator of the Pastoralist Indigenous Non-Governmental Organisations Forum (Pingos Forum).

Others are Ms Tike Mwambipile, executive director of the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (Tawla); Mr Yassin Ally, WiLDAF executive director; Mr Audax Rukonge of of Ansaf; Gunendu Roy, BRAC country representative, and Dr Astronaut Bagile, executive director of WISE.

People wishing to stand for election must be either members or staffers of duly registered NGOs for a period of not less than three years, and should also be conversant with the relevant laws, regulations policies and guidelines.

They must also be Tanzanian citizens, except those seeking to be elected representative of international NGOs, who, however, are required to have valid permits allowing them to work in Tanzania.

They must be aged not below 18 and not over 70, should have at least Form Four education, and able to speak Kiswahili and English.

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