Rival Political parties step up preparations for October polls

CCM chairman and the President of the United Republic of Tanzania John Pombe Magufuli at one of his party's meetings.

What you need to know:

 The CCM national chairman, President John Magufuli, chaired the meeting. The list will be forwarded to the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) for approval when it convenes on Thursday.

Dar es Salaam. Political parties yesterday continued to put final touches to their preparations for campaigns ahead of the October 28 General Election.

With only about a week remaining before campaigns kick off, ACT-Wazalendo yesterday named its campaign team, while CCM’s powerful Central Committee met in Dodoma to propose the final list of parliamentary candidates.

 The CCM national chairman, President John Magufuli, chaired the meeting. The list will be forwarded to the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) for approval when it convenes on Thursday.

In Dar es Salaam, ACT-Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe said deputy secretary-general (Tanzania Mainland) Joram Bashange and Mr Emmanuel Mvula will lead the campaign team as chairman and manager, respectively.

 He added that ACT-Wazalendo was still open to cooperation with other opposition parties, saying the party was well represented in ongo- ing discussions.

 “I have no doubt that the opposition will cooperate in the run-up to and during this year’s General Election because that is what Tanzanians want,” Mr Kabwe said, adding that it was unthinkable for oppositions par- ties to go it alone and expect to oust CCM from power.

 “Tanzanians won’t forgive us if we won’t agree to field one presidential candidate, who will be supported by all opposition parties...Tanzania is bigger than any political party.  The opposition needs to work together to bring about genuine and positive change,” he said.

 The former Kigoma Urban MP said Tanzanians still have confidence in the opposition despite curbs imposed on political activity in the last five years.

Mr Kabwe demanded that police thoroughly investigate what he said were brutal attacks on the party’s parliamentary aspirants Said Nangendekwa and Joachim Ng’ombo and civic candidate Bakari Nanyambo.

“We appeal to the Police Force, particularly Inspector General of Police Simon Sirro, to speed up investigations  into these incidents and make the findings public. Also, the National Electoral Commission should make a follow-up and take appropriate action.”

 Mr Kabwe asked ACT-Wazalendo members and supporters to be vigilant at all times and avoid breaking the law in the run-up to, during and after the elections.

Meanwhile, Chadema protocol, communication and foreign affairs director Jon Mrema told The Citizen yesterday that they were working  to ensure that candidates endorsed by  the party for the Kilombero, Kigamboni, Mbagala and Kibamba parliamentary seats were provided with nomination forms by returning officers in those areas.

He said members who had not been nominated by the party had collected forms in Kilombero, Kigamboni and Mbagala, while a person who was not even a Chadema member picked up forms in Kibamba.

“We are facing more or less the same problem in a number of wards.  We have sent NEC the list of approved candidates in all constituencies and wards where we intend to contest seats,” Mr Mrema said, adding that the party’s decisions with regard to candidates must be  respected.

 NEC director of elections Wilson Charles said last weekend that ACT-Wazalendo had reported that “bogus” civic candidates had collected nomination forms in Upanga West, Upanga South, Gerezani and Jangwani wards in Dar es Salaam, adding that the commission would ensure that only approved candi dates were cleared.