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ACT-Wazalendo to participate in by-polls; Chadema opts out of the race

Saturday April 03 2021
ZITTO PIC

Kigoma Urban Member of Parliament Mr Zitto Kabwe

By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. Opposition party ACT-Wazalendo yesterday said it will participate in the coming by-elections, while Chadema said it will not do so on the grounds that the national electoral body is yet to be reformed.

ACT-Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe insisted that they will take part in both the Muhambwe and Buhigwe constituency by-elections in Kigoma Region, areas he described as “opposition strongholds.

“The party I lead, @ACTwazalendo, will fully participate in the two by-elections, every single step of the process. As usual, our members are ready and excited for the first-ever campaigns in Mainland Tanzania since the October 2020 elections. No abdication of responsibility!” Mr Kabwe posted on Twitter.

The election of the Muhambwe representative to the National Assembly is scheduled for May 2, 2021, to fill the vacancy left by Atashasta Nditiye (CCM) who died after sustaining injuries in a road accident in Dodoma in February last year.

The Buhigwe constituency was also left vacant after the appointment of the former MP and Finance minister, Dr Philip Mpango, as the Union Vice President.

However, the electoral body was yet to announce the date for the Buhigwe by-election.

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The ACT-Wazalendo comment comes a day after Tanzania’s main opposition party Chadema announced it will not participate in the Muhambwe by-election, saying they were not happy with the current National Electoral Commission (Nec).

Chadema deputy secretary general Benson Kigaila said experience from last October’s General Election indicated that the polls would not be free or fair.

“You all recall that most of our candidates were denied nomination forms and some of those who filled the forms were disqualified. Others were arrested on framed charges,” he said.

“During voting, our agents were not allowed to most of the polling stations. It was not an election; it was total chaos.

“With that kind of the electoral body, Chadema’s central committee has decided it will not participate in the by-elections as long as the electoral commission remains the same,” he said.

Last week, ACT-Wazalendo won a seat in a by-election to get a Member of the House of Representatives of Zanzibar on Pemba Island.

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