Dar es Salaam. The campaign was as tough to candidates as it was amusing to rally goers.
But no matter how intriguing and tiring they were, ultimately the two long-term rivals Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and Chama cha Demokraria na Maendeleo (Chadema) will lock horns once again tomorrow in the by-elections for two Parliamentary seats and 23 ward councillorship.
The by-election for Parliamentary Seats will be held in Ukonga and Monduli constituencies after their MPs Charles Mwita Waitara and Mr Julius Kilaba respectively defected from the main opposition Chadema to the ruling CCM.
Voters will go to the polls in 23 wards councillorship seats due to various reasons, including defections as well as death of some ward councilors.
Unlike previous by-elections, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) has invited foreign and local election observers.
NEC announced the decision a few days after US embassy in the country released a statement alleging that there were reports of human rights violations by security forces in the previous by-elections.
Both Mr Waitara and Mr Kalanga were nominated to defend their seats by the ruling party after defecting from the opposition.
Mr Waitara will be up against Ms Asia Msangi (Chadema) as well as candidates from other parties, while Mr Kalanga will face off against Yonas Masiaya Laizer (Chadema) and others.
In Korogwe, the voters will not have to go to the polls after the CCM candidate Timotheo Mzava sailed unopposed after Chadema candidate Amina Saguti failed to beat the deadline for returning nomination forms.
During the campaigns, which lasted thirty days, the candidates apart from seeking votes, used the opportunity to trade accusations.
In most of his campaign rallies Waitara referred to Chadema as a Saccos (Savings and Credit Co-operative Society) controlled by party chairman Freeman Mbowe.
In Monduli constituency, Mr Kalaba and other CCM candidates used their rallies to hit at Chadema leaders.
However, Chadema hit back. The party’s secretary general expressed concern that CCM would rig the election.
When CCM threw accusations of lesbianism against Chadema, the latter fought back with claims that Waitara was a drunkard.
Yesterday CCM Publicity and Ideology secretary Humphrey Polepole accused the party of ignoring the Constitution and the electoral law by using abusive language during by-election campaigns, which are slated to end tomorrow. Even when most of the candidates talked about social issues such as health, education they rarely outlined how they were going to implement their promises.
Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander Lazaro Mambosasa said the police would make sure that the by election would be held peacefully. He urged people not to be involved in incidents that would threaten peace because the law enforcers would be on the look out.