Tanzanian police chief says ready to ensure peaceful polls

Tanzanian Inspector General of Police Ernest Mangu on Wednesday warned the youth to stay away from polling centers after voting on the Election Day to ensure peace prevailed.


“After voting, the youth should stay away from the polling centers and any breach of this order we will have to use force to disperse them,” said Mangu in reference to the country’s election due on October 25.

Mangu told a news conference in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam that the police were well prepared and equipped to ensure that peace prevailed at the voting stage and in the post-election period.

He was speaking at the sidelines of a closed door joint meeting between the National Electoral Commission (NEC), regional and district commissioners and district executive directors who are tasked as returning officers.
Regional police commanders from across the country were also present at the meeting which was aimed at discussing ways of ensuring the voting and announcement of election results were conducted smoothly.

NEC chairman Judge Damian Lubuva said one of the main challenges that have been observed in past elections was the gathering of supporters of different political parties outside polling stations, intimidating voters especially women not to go and cast their ballots.

“They say that they are guarding their votes, but according to the law every party/candidate appoints their agents in every polling station to oversee the whole process and protect their interests and they should trust them,” said Lubuva.

The coalition of four main opposition parties has maintained that they will mobilize their youth to “guard the votes” in the polling stations.

“They don’t have any reason to mobilize crowds during the voting period. They should let people go and vote without fear,” said Lubuva.

On Tuesday, Alvaro Rodriguez, Tanzania’s UN Resident Coordinator, said parameters indicated that the polls would be hotly contested but there was no one who could take away the election from the people.
Over 23 million out of a population of about 46 million Tanzanians will go to polls on October 25 to elect the president, Members of Parliament and councillors.

The presidential candidate for the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi, John Magufuli, is facing fierce competition from Edward Lowassa who is contesting on the ticket on leading opposition party, Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA).

CHADEMA is campaigning on a coalition of three other opposition parties of Civic United Front (CUF), National League for Democracy and NCCR-Mageuzi.

The winner of the presidential race will succeed incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete who is completing his two five-year leadership terms. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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