Zanzibar. ACT-Wazalendo presidential candidates on Sunday received a heroes reception when they arrived in Zanzibar.
Former Foreign Affairs minister Bernard Membe and ACT-Wazalendo’s national chairman, Seif Shariff Hamad returned to the Isles on Sunday after taking part in the opposition party’s decision-making meetings in Dar es Salaam where they were endorsed as the party’s presidential candidates in the October 28, General Election.
Mr Membe is ACT-Wazalendo’s Presidential candidate for the United Republic of Tanzania whereas Seif Shariff Hamad will vie for Zanzibar’s Presidency.
The duo left the Dar es Salaam Port early in the morning alongside Mr Membe's running mate, Prof Omary Fakih Hamad, party leader Zitto Kabwe and Secretary General Ado Shaibu.
At the Malindi Port in Unguja, thousands of the party’s members queued all the way to Darajani in a welcome gesture for their party’s flag-bearers.
Two cars, decorated with party colours (white and purple), were parked at the Malindi Port.
Mr Hamad and Mr Kabwe boarded One vehicle while Mr Membe and Prof Fakih boarded the other.
Thousands of party’s cadres chanted slogans as they escorted their leaders passing through Malindi, Darajani, Mkunazini, Kisonge, Michenzani, Maisara and up to the party's Vuga offices.
Security was tight as members of the police force were busy protecting people and their properties throughout the trip from Malindi to Vuga.
On August 5, this year ACT-Wazalendo General Congress endorsed Mr Membe and Mr Hamad as presidential candidates.
Mr Membe, along with other opposition candidates, will challenge incumbent President John Magufuli who is seeking re-election to complete his last five-year term.
Mr Hamad will battle it out with the CCM candidate, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi in a vote that will see one of them succeeding outgoing President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein.
Campaigns for the Mainland Tanzania will kick off on August 26, one day after nomination of candidates and will be concluded on October 27, this year.