Dar es Salaam. Polling kicked off early morning on September 16, Sunday, as residents of Ukonga constituency in Dar es Salaam queued to elect their MP in a by-election that was announced by a deliberate decision by the area MP, Mr Mwita Waitara, to defect to the ruling party.
As expected, Mr Waitara was later endorsed as the ruling party’s candidate for the very same post that he had ditched while in the opposition in a growing trend of politicians from the opposition shifting to CCM for their various political, economical and personal reasons that ultimately cost the poor Tanzanian taxpayer dearly.
Back to the polls, some voters have complained of missing their names on the voters’ list.
At Lawrence School polling station, Kitunda ward, The Citizen witnessed cases of two people holding their voter IDs but could not see their names on the voters’ list.
Their IDs included their details and name of the polling station they had been registered to vote at, as per requirements of the National Electoral Commission (NEC).
However, they said their names were missing on the wall. "I was registered and got my card at this station. In 2015, I voted from here so I don't know what has happened abruptly," said one of the disgruntled voters, Ms Agness Bajingu.
Mr Elia Marwa appeared puzzled when he failed to track his name among the voters. "I have the card but the name isn't there. I really don't know how this can happen," he complained
Party agents, journalists face restrictions
At Pugu-market, Pugu primary school and Green Hill academy polling stations, residents who spoke to The Citizen said they were disappointed after their party-agents were restricted from entering polling stations.
"We don't expect to win this election…Am disappointed," one of the residents was hard lamenting.
In all the three-polling stations, opposition party-agents said they were ye to find their letters of identification at the polling stations.
"I was assured that I would find my letter of recognition here at the polling station but I have been denied the right to represent my party. I was told that my identification letter was not yet at station," said Veronika Nashon the electoral agent for NLD party, at Pugu-Market.
Meanwhile, all journalists were denied entrance into the polling stations. They were told to obtain letters of recognition from the Director of elections so that they could be allowed in.