Dar es Salaam. Politicians vying for councillorship in 36 wards and a parliamentary seat in Buyungu Constituency, Kigoma Region, embarked on last minute campaigns Saturday to woo voters ahead of voting Sunday.
A month of campaigning for the by-elections came to a complete stop at 6pm Saturday as various political parties held rallies to boost support for their candidates in elections that are taking place in 29 municipalities across the country.
Ahead of the polls, National Electoral Commission Chairman (NEC) Judge Semistocles Kaijage issued electoral guidelines, reminding those vying for various seats or their followers not to carry out any campaigns beyond the prescribed time.
The NEC Chairman said in a statement that a total of 485,203 voters registered in the voters’ registry in Tanzania Mainland.
He said polling is due to take place in 1,314 stations.
He said voters would be using the same polling stations as those of the 2015 general election. “…polling stations will be open from 7am and will close at 4pm. No voter will be allowed in the queue beyond 4pm,’’ he said.
“Only registered voters will be allowed to cast their votes and for those who lost their voter’s cards or the cards are distorted, they can use their drivers’ license, passport or the national ID which is issued by the National Identification Agency(Nida),’’ he reiterated.
“The sick, people with disabilities and pregnant women will be given priority in the voting queue,’’ he added.
He reminded all political parties to follow guidelines and deploy their agents in polling stations according to the law.
Police in Mtwara Region warned politicians against what it said was the tendency of people gathering at the tallying centers and call for unauthorised gatherings to “guard votes.”
Regional Police Commander Lucas Mkondya said police officers would be deployed on the polling day to counter any attempts by political party followers or politicians to “guard the votes.”
“People should go to the polling stations and vote peacefully. The police has the responsibility of ensuring the security of the people…it’s not anyone else’s job, neither is it the role of any politician,’’ said Mr Mkondya. Polling will be taking place in three wards of Makonga (Newala) Nanguruwe and Nalingu in Mtwara Region.