How the 1970 General Election set a new dawn for Tanzania

Thursday March 19 2020

Tanganyika President Julius Kambarage Nyerere

Tanganyika President Julius Kambarage Nyerere and his Zanzibar counterpart Sheikh Abeid Karume in 1964. The 1970 elections were the second polls to be held after the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar Photo | file 

By William Shao @TheCitizenTZ

Tanzania, which was established on April 26, 1964 after the Republic of Tanganyika and the Republic of the People of Zanzibar united to form the establishment of the United Republic of Tanzania, ran its first General Election in 1965, whereby the second General Election was held in 1970.

In the 1970 polls, hospitalised patients were also offered the opportunity of getting registered and voting.

In 1965, the 1964 transitional constitution of the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar (the Constitution of Unity) was amended to pave the way for the introduction of one party system government.

Since then Tanzania, under one party system, has been holding its presidential elections after every five years.

The second General Election under one political party system in Tanzania was held on October 30, 1970.

People who got registered as voters to choose president and Members of Parliament were 5,051,938.


However, only 72.2 per cent of voters turned up to vote, equivalent to 3,649,789 voters.

The only union presidential candidate from both Tanu and Afro-Shirazi parties was Mwalimu Julius Nyerere who garnered 3,575,401 votes of YES, equivalent to 96.93 per cent while 109,828 votes, equivalent to 3.07 per cent, were cast against him.

Nyerere was among the first voters to be in the queue for voting at the Kijitonyama Polling Station, where, before him, he allowed one voter, whom he claimed to be his relative, to vote, but unfortunately the latter died the following day and Nyerere attended his burial.

The results of the election were announced by members of an electoral commission led by Y. Osman at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam Region.

Vehicles from different parts of the city were used to carry patients from hospitals to voting stations so that they could fulfil their constitutional rights.

According to historical records a certain hospitalised woman was carried to her Mburahati voting station by using the vehicle of the chairman of Dar es Salaam City Council.

In the previous polls of 1965 Nyerere got 97 per cent of all votes that were cast, whereby two ministers, seven junior ministers and 40 MPs were defeated in the elections.

In the 1970 polls, Lands, Housing and Urban Development minister J. W. Kihampa, together with junior minister in the Second Vice President’s Office, Francis Vincent Mponji, were the first to be announced to have been defeated badly.

Another minister who was defeated in the polls was Isaac Bhoke Munanka, who was vying for the Tarime Parliamentary seat in which Aelius Gallus Omolo emerged the winner with 10,369 votes against 9,524 votes. A total of 2,813 votes were spoiled.

Kihampa was vying for the Bwakirwa Parliamentary seat from which he garnered 7,656 votes while his opponent, Issa Kiyombwe, collected 18,698 votes while 383 votes were spoiled.

Mponji, who in the 1965 General Election sailed through unopposed in the Nanyumbu Constituency, got 5,862 votes against 26,563 votes of his opponent .

Former Finance minister Amir Jamal collected 22,570 votes in the Morogoro Constituency after defeating his opponent, Ali Magara, who got 10,270.

While the results continued being announced, Bi Tatu Mandara who was contesting for Dar es Salaam East constituency and defeated by her opponent Salehe Abdulla Yahya, appealed at the Dar es Salaam Zone High Court to challenge Yahya’s victory. Tatu had been defeated by 1,339 votes.

In Arusha Urban, Joel Solomoni Kivuyo, who was using a house mark in the voting paper, defeated Obedi Ole Mejooli, who was using a hoe mark. Kivuyo collected 19,353 votes against Mejooli’s 17,331.

Patrick Silverius Quorro (house mark) collected 11,986 votes against his opponent Merrus Richard Merrus’11,630 (hoe mark).

In the Mbulu constituency poll results, the winner was Damian Buya Geay (hoe mark) who bagged in 16,022 votes against his opponent Leandry Gobre Bilauri’s 3,839 (house mark). About 582 votes were spoiled.

In the Meru constituency poll results the winner was Jafet Ngura Kiliro (house mark) who collected 14,899 votes against Salome Ninyiti Filemoni (hoe mark)’s 23,411. Kiliro defeated Salome by 5,648 votes while 594 votes were spoiled.

In Dar es Salaam, South Kitwana Selemani Kondo (house mark) emerged the winner after collecting 41,325 votes against Hassan Athumani Kilima (hoe mark)’s 23,411. Kitwana Kondo was an MP in the previous parliament before the 1970 General Election.

Dar es Salaam North, Derek Bryceson (hoe mark) was declared the winner after collecting 50,117 votes against Aloys Henjewele (house mark)’s 9,545 votes while 913 votes were spoiled.

[Photo]In Dar es Salaam East, contestants were between Saleh A. Yahya (hoe mark) and Tatu Nuru Mandara (house mark). Yahya won by 1,339 votes after collecting 20,377 votes against Mandara’s 19,038.

In Pare North, Peter Abdallah Kisumo (hoe mark) defeated Simeon Manase Kijo (house mark) by 14,030 votes after collecting 15,379 votes against Kijo’s 1,349.

In the poll results of Nyanza constituency, Paul Bomani (hoe mark) won 28,738 and defeated his opponent Daniel Madaha Machemba by 18,317 votes as the latter collected 10,421 votes.

In Hombolo constituency, Job Malecela Lusinde (house mark) vied against Paulo Mukombola (hoe mark). Lusinde garnered 28,839 votes against Mukombola’s 8,262. Lusinde won by 20,577 votes.

In the Muheza Constituency poll results, Erasto Andrew Mang’enya (hoe mark) won after collecting 19,986 votes against Juma Ali Bakari (house mark)’s 8,182.

Ibrahim Haruna Lipumba (house mark) vied for the Urambo Parliamentary seat and got 6,026 votes. However, he was defeated by 8,876 votes by his opponent Said Ali Maswanya (how mark) who garnered 14,902 votes.

Stephen Wasira Masatu emerged the winner in the Mwibara constituency after collecting 10,446 votes against his opponent Thomas Mwiyenjwa’s 9,213. In Lushoto constituency, Josephat Kifunta Mandia collected 18,576 votes against Ibrahim Joseph Shemdoe’s 10,498.

In Hai constituency, Israel Eninawinga (hoe mark) garnered 31,091 votes against Solomoni Simbo (house mark)’s 3,980.

Alphonse Maskini (hoe mark) who was Rombo MP was defeated after getting 11,719 votes against Leonce Ngalai (house mark) who won by 17,691 votes. At least 1,276 votes were spoiled. In Vunjo Constituency the winner was Bi Kaanasia Mtenga (hoe mark), who got 19,461 votes against Mosha Antony Mafole (house mark)’s 16,262.

In the presidential election, Mwalimu Nyerere was declared the victor by then chairman of the Electoral Commission, Chief Adam Sapi Mkwawa, winning by 95 per cent of all votes that were cast.

The number of votes that were cast against Nyerere, according to Electoral Commission chairman Adam Sapi Mkwawa, was 108,828 while at least 74,388 votes were spoiled.

On November 5, 1970, Mwalimu Nyerere was sworn-in for another time as President of Tanzania. On the day of his swearing-in, he pardoned a total of 3,484 prisoners.