Tanzania President asked to intervene in mayoral polls

The Citizen (Tanzania) reports on local election results

Tanzanian opposition party Chadema yesterday urged newly elected CCM President John Magufuli to intervene in what they termed as a ‘defilement’ of democracy by the ruling party in mayoral elections especially in areas where the opposition was likely to emerge victorious.

The main opposition party said it has come to their notice that there was a directive from senior government officials to municipal directors to ensure that CCM won at all costs, according to the outfit’s communication officer, Tumaini Makene. “This became evident in the mayoral election in Tanga City as well as the delaying of the process in Kinondoni and Ilala municipalities, as of now we have no information as to when we will choose our leaders,” he said.

The opposition party says it was important to get statements from the Head of State on the matter because the Regional Administration and Local Government, Public Service and Good Governance docket was now placed under his office.

The mayoral election for Kinondoni and Ilala municipalities in Dar es Salaam were put off due to a fracas pitting Opposition camp councillors against those of the ruling party. The returning officer postponed the event until further notice, pending guidance from the ministry responsible for local authorities.here were bitter disputes as Chadema Ward civic leaders complained to the returning officers about the number of CCM councilors.

The Opposition led by their Dar es Salaam Members of Parliament (MPs) alleged before the Kinondoni returning officer that eight ward councillors from Zanzibar had been brought in to boost the number of votes for the CCM candidate. The Opposition has a total of 38 councillors in Kinondoni while the ruling party has 27 including MPs who are also members of the council.

In another development, Chadema yesterday said that it had received information from its leaders in Ruangwa Constituency in Lindi that an operation was underway to pull down all party flags. Chadema claimed that since Sunday, their leaders have been sending reports of the implementation of directives from the district council directors. “Apart from expressing our disappointment with the happenings, we call upon PM Kassim Majaliwa to intervene in this and allow democracy to take its course,” he said.