Mixed messages from foreign leaders greet Magufuli victory

Sunday November 01 2020
FOREIGN PIC

Nine out of 14 opposition presidential candidates brief reporters in Dodoma yesterday where they commended President-elect John Magufuli for his victory and promised to cooperate with him. PHOTO | JONATHAN MUSSA

Dar es Salaam. Mixed reactions have greeted the re-election of President John Magufuli who was announced winner of the 2020 General Election on Friday.

The reactions included congratulatory messages from regional and some international leaders.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) said Dr Magufuli collected a total of 12,516,252 votes out of the 15,091, 950 valid votes cast against 1,933,271 votes by Chadema’s Tundu Lissu who came second.

Burundi President Évariste Ndayishimiye commended Tanzanians for deciding their future in a peaceful manner.

“On behalf of the people of Burundi and on my own behalf, I extend to President John Magufuli my heartfelt and warmest congratulations for his re-election,” he said.

Zimbabwe Head of State Emmerson Mnangagwa also twitted his congratulations to President Magufuli on his re-election.

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“I know that through increased trade and cooperation between our two nations, both of our peoples will prosper,” he wrote.

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya said Magufuli’s re-election demonstrated the deep love, confidence and trust the people of Tanzania had in his leadership.

“On behalf of the people and the government of Kenya and on my own behalf, I congratulate you, my brother, Dr John Pombe Magufuli on your election victory and that of your party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, in the just concluded election.”

“We in Kenya look forward to continue working with your Administration for the benefit of the people of our two nations, for the prosperity of East Africa and for the peace, stability and growth of the African continent,” President Kenyatta wrote.

President Kenyatta wished his Tanzanian counterpart good health and success as he settles into office for his second term and assured of Kenya’s continued collaboration with his administration.

For his part, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni applauded President Magufuli saying: and “Uganda looks forward to working even more closely with you and the people of Tanzania to deepen our social, economic and political ties,” he wrote.

Nine (9) out of the 14 opposition presidential candidates also commended President-elect Magufuli for his victory promising to work with him in building the nation.

NCCR-Mageuzi’s and Demokrasia Makini said they accept the results released by the National Electoral Commission and were ready to work with Dr Magufuli for the benefit of Tanzanians.

These smaller parties’ in total collected some 380,627 votes for the president post excluding the two top contenders CCM’s Magufuli and Chadema’s Tundu Lissu.

Their candidates included ACT-Wazalendo’s Bernard Member who garnered 81,129 votes, CUF’s Ibrahim Lipumba (72,885), Chaumma’s Hashim Rungwe (32,878), AAFP’s Seif Malim Seif (4,635), ADA –Tadea John Shibuda (33,086, D Makini Cecilia Mwanga (14,556), NCCR Mageuzi (19,969), SAU Muttamwega Mgaywa (14,922), UPDP Twalib Kadege (6,194), ADC Queen Sendiga (7,627), UMD Khalfan Mazrui (3,721), DP Philipo Fumbo, (8,282) and NRA Leopord Mahona (4,787).

In view of the same, NCCR-Mageuzi’s candidate Yeremiah Mayanja said while he was vying to become the next president, Tanzanians decided to go for Magufuli mainly for his hard work and performance.

“I’m of the view that it’s now time to return to development projects and restrain from political chaos as the window is already closed,” he said.

He issued a warning to some of his fellow opponents with intention to disrupt peace and security adding that the presidential seat is always won by a single person.

For her part, Ms Cecilia Mmanga, who was a candidate for the Demokrasia Makini, said she had accepted the results because Dr Magufuli won by a large margin.

These nine candidates commended the National Electoral Commission claiming that the body did justice to all those vying the country’s top post.

Meanwhile, the Chinese director general of the Department of African Affairs said: “I believe that under the leadership of President Magufuli, Tanzania will make greater achievements on the path of national development.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s also said China looks forward to enhancing cooperation with the new Tanzanian government to bring bilateral relations to a new height.

The US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chairman Elliot Engel called on security forces to cease violence against members of the political opposition attempting to peacefully protest the conduct of the elections.

He said in a statement: “It has been tragic to see Tanzania, once a promising democracy slide into autocracy.”

Mr Engel said the Wednesday’s election to secure Mr Magufuli’s second term was marred by fraud and intimidation of the ruling party’s political opponents. In addition to disruptions to social media and other online communications platforms.

The High Commission of Canada in Tanzania said it was disturbed by reports of violence and arrrests against political candidates and supporters. “Protection of civilians is essential for peace and stability. Canada calls on the government of Tanzania to investigate and prosecute those who have violated human rights,” the embassy wrote in its official twitter account.

Herman Cohen, a former assistant secretary of state and author of US policy on Africa said the results of the October polls showed that Tanzania was not a democracy with a one party dominance. He feared that the results could bolster the incumbet’s grip on power further.

The US and UK are other foreign embassies that earlir issued separate statements calling on the probe of violence and irregularities reported during the elections in both the Minland Tanzania and Zanzibar where Dr Hussein Mwinyi was announced the President-elect and will be on Monday be sworn into office to succeed President Ali Mohamed Shein who has served his two full terms of five years each.

Unofficial reports indicate President Magufuli is likely to be sworn in for his second term on Wednesday.