Electoral body clarifies Chadema concerns

Tuesday October 13 2020

The NEC director of elections, Dr Wilson

The NEC director of elections, Dr Wilson Mahera, during a past meeting. PHOTO | file 

By Louis Kolumbia

Dar es Salaam. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) yesterday clarified Chadema’s concerns on a company contracted to prepare ballot papers ahead of this year’s General Election, slated for October 28.

The electoral body also issued clarifications on claims of poor involvement of the Nec’s Procurement and Logistics committee.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Chadema’s secretary general John Mnyika demanded answers from the electoral body and the Tanzania Police Force on various issues linked to the October 28 General Election.

He said NEC is supposed to disclose a company contracted to produce ballot papers, provide Voters Permanent Register to political parties and introduce Results Management System to election stakeholders.

The electoral body is also required to respond to the development of the party’s complaints filed against CCM presidential candidate John Magufuli, and provide copies of Results Declaration Forms to political parties.

Besides, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro was urged to sack Hai Officer Commanding District (OCD) and give answers to ‘escalated injustice and crackdown’ against the opposition.

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He said June reports showed that a South African firm, Ms Ren-Form CC, had been contracted to prepare and supply ballot papers, but recent reports have been citing Jamana Printers are doing the former’s job.

“NEC should tell Tanzanians which company between the two has been contracted for the job because we are aware that some of Jamana Printers executives are CCM members. We need assurance to satisfy ourselves with the safety of ballot papers,” he told reporters at the party headquarters.

But, a statement released by NEC’s director of Elections, Dr Wilson Mahera names Ms Ren-Form CC as the company that won the competitive tendering process against a Kenyan company Ellams Products Limited and Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC of Dubai.

“The process supervised by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) declared Ms Ren-Form CC as a winner. Therefore, Jamana Printers which is a company referred in fabricated reports didn’t participate at all in the process,” reads part of the statement.

He said earlier, the General Procurement Notice, was put in the PPRA website, repeated in the TANePS and that NEC advertised the process in the DailyNews newspaper and informed stakeholders including political parties Chadema being amongst.

He said it was the PPRA’s responsibility to publicize tender results in the Tender Portal available in the PPRA’s website and the Tanzania Procurement Journal.

Regarding involvement of political parties in the procurement and logistics issues, Dr Charles said procurement of election materials and equipment is done in accordance with the law through tendering process and that stakeholders are later being informed.

“Despite a good intention to participate stakeholders in the procurement of election materials and collect their opinion, most political parties including Chadema didn’t pick representatives for the committee,” reads the statement.

He said the October 8 committee’s meetings were convened without representation from most political parties including Chadema, urging the public to refute such claims.