Church leaders join in the call for free and fair election process

Saturday August 15 2020

 

By Gadiosa Lamtey

Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Assemblies of God (TAG) church has expressed its wishes for a fair and transparent election processes during the 2020 General Election.

 This was voiced yesterday during TAG Annual General Council meeting held in Dodoma in the presence of President John Magufuli who was invited to address the council.

 TAG articulated its desire to see the formalities that were used recently by political parties in seeking candidates for parliamentary and ward councilor seats, to be emulated on October 28 this year when the county goes to polling stations.

 Making his address, Magufuli assured Tanzanians that the General Election will be free and fair and asked them to discard candidates who will preach hatred and intimidation that intend to divide the nation.

 The head of state cautioned against hate speech, stating that many countries enter into a state of conflict and pandemonium during elections due to some candidates spewing hate, ultimately dividing people.

“We are committed to ensuring that elections will be fair and free. I, therefore, urge all Tanzanians to stand firm against attempts by political parties, religious or ethnic groups aimed at separating. Most of them do this for lack of proper policies to tell the public.  They thus resort to preaching hatred,” Magufuli said.

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Furthermore, the president said the government recognizes the contribution of religious institutions in the development of the country and vowed to continue to create a conducive environment to foster more development.

He also urged religious leaders to pray for the nation as we head towards General Election so that the process ends peacefully, adding that once conflict occurs the most affected will be the citizens.

 Earlier, while giving a welcoming speech, TAG archbishop Barnabas Mtokambali said the system that was used when parties sought for representatives was very trans- parent as votes were calculated openly and the results were released timely and left everyone content with the due process.

“For many years there have been complaints from candidates on election results, so it’d be advantageous to every- one concerned if a transparent method was adopted during General Election,” he said. In another development, the church has asked the government to introduce a leadership skills development system so that it can prepare present and future leaders. This way, there will be reduction in the number of leaders who are still involved in corrupt practices that reduce efficiency and service delivery to the public.