Tanzania opposition express fears over forthcoming local government elections

Thursday September 5 2019

 

By Alawi Masare

Dodoma. Two opposition Members of Parliament have expressed fears over the forthcoming local government elections saying the supervision does not provide fair playing ground.

John Mnyika (Kibamba-Chadema) and Freeman Mbowe (Hai-Chadema) expressed their fears in the questions they asked on Thursday September 5' 2019.

Mr Mnyika wanted the National Electoral Commission to supervise the elections of village as an additional role instead of the minister responsible for local governments whom he said is already an interested party.

"The minister is a member of a political party participating in the elections, how can the elections be free and fair?" asked Mr Mnyika.

"The recent guidelines did not consider stakeholder opinions and therefore, they do not provide room for fairness," he added.

Mr Mbowe also asked a supplementary question following Mr Mnyika's question saying the local government election guidelines were not deliberated by the Parliament committee.

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However, deputy Minister in the President's Office (Regional Admnistration and Local Governments) Mr Mwita Waitara said the current laws recognise the minister  responsible for local governments as the local government election supervisor.

"According to the constitution, the electoral commission has no powers to supervise those elections. So, we cannot even use its register of voters," said Mr Waitara.

"The MPs should not worry about the elections as the government has always been ensuring fairness. I personally won in local government elections and as MP from opposition party. Later, I crossed to the ruling party and also won. This confirms that these elections are free and fair," he added.

The Attorney General Dr Aderladus Kilangi also said there was no requirement for the Parliament Committee to vet the subsidiary legislations as claimed by Mr Mbowe.