Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Magufuli: Accept defeat in today’s mayoral poll

President John Magufuli secures his pistol

President John Magufuli secures his pistol after it was verified by police authorities at State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday. Looking on is Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander Simon Sirro. PHOTO | STATE HOUSE 

By Syriacus Buguzi @buguzi sbuguzi@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli yesterday advised parties that are fielding candidates vying for the Dar es Salaam City mayoral seat today to be ready for any outcome, including defeat.

“Where we deserve to win let us win genuinely and let it be so, but we must accept defeat in the event of losing, that is a true democracy,” said the President.

This was the first time President Magufuli spoke out publicly on the standoff between the ruling CCM and the opposition coalition, Ukawa, that has seen the election being postponed twice.

Dr Magufuli said at State House that contesting parties must finalise the process to get the city mayor in election held today instead of wrangling and going for court injunctions endlessly.

He said contestants must be prepared to accept results of the election for the city to forge ahead with its plans to serve the people. The President’s sentiments on the controversial mayoral election comes barely a month after the main opposition party, Chadema, criticised him for not making efforts to resolve the political crisis.

The Chadema’s Deputy Secretary General for Zanzibar, Mr Salum Mwalimu, alleged that inaction shown by Dr Magufuli meant that he was siding with the decision by the city director’s office to suspend the exercise.

There has been concern over the way mayoral elections in the city’s were being conducted, with the government being accused of planning to rig the polls and ensure CCM produces the next Dar es Salaam mayor.

The election was initially scheduled for January 23, but it was postponed for reasons that were not clearly stated by the Dar es Salaam City Council director. It was then scheduled for February 8 but was then suspended again after opposition councillors accused their CCM counterparts of bringing in 11 councillors from Zanzibar to participate in the voting.

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