Election Campaign Concerns

  • Deputy Secretary General for ACT-Wazalendo for Zanzibar, Nassor Ahmed, reportedly went missing for 5 hours on Sunday (25th October) after his vehicle was hit by an unmarked car which then took him away.
  • Leaders of ACT-Wazalendo in Zanzibar led by their Islands’ presidential candidate, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, warned that they will only accept defeat if Wednesday’s polls are transparent, without any element of rigging. Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police (CP) Zanzibar Mohamed Haji warned that stability and peace will not be compromised, adding that any violator would meet the full wrath of the police.

Election Observers Participation

  • Tanzania’s opposition parties claim the government has made it difficult to accredit thousands of opposition electoral observers who want to ensure the vote is fair. The ACT-Wazalendo warned that the issue could lead to violence, as polling stations won’t be allowed to operate without the observers.

National Electoral Commission Partiality

  • The leader of Tanzania’s main opposition party accused the electoral commission of tampering with voter lists ahead of Wednesday’s general elections. “There’s massive (biometric voter registration) manipulation. Millions of ghost voters and polling stations,” Freeman Mbowe, chairman of the CHADEMA party, wrote on Twitter.

Voter’s Roll Abuse

  • Zitto Kabwe, leader of ACT-Wazalendo, claimed voters had been added to his constituency in the western city of Kigoma. “In my constituency, some 13,830 ghost voters have been added in the list. Some national service soldiers and students have been prepared to vote through these names,” he claimed on Twitter.

Supporters of the Tanzanian opposition political party The Alliance for Change and Transparency (Wazalendo) demonstrate at the end of the last campaign rally in Stone Town, on October 25, 2020, ahead of the national elections. – Tanzanians will go to the polls on October 28, 2020 to elect a president, deputies and local councillors after five years of John Magufuli’s regime, marked by a crackdown on political opponents in a country once viewed as a beacon of stability in East Africa. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI / AFP)

Security Concerns

  • Islamist State militants attacked a Tanzanian village on the border of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. The raid was in the village of Kitaya, in Mtwara province of Tanzania. 20 people were allegedly beheaded, houses were razed, an armoured vehicle was destroyed, and cash and military equipment was stolen. Three Tanzanian soldiers were also killed. Local news agencies did not report on the attack and President Magufuli is yet to acknowledge the attack on his home soil. Initial media reports claimed it was a case of electoral violence.

International Stakeholders

  • Since 13th October 2020, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has undertaken a series of virtual engagements with key electoral stakeholders in preparation for the General Elections in the United Republic of Tanzania to be held on 28 October 2020. These engagements, in this Member State, follow the decision taken during the Extraordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, held on 15 September 2020, not to deploy a physical SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to the United Republic of Tanzania due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • US Congress Resolution has urged the government of Tanzania to respect human rights and constitutional rights and ensure free and fair elections in the Wednesday 28th October 2020 poll. The resolution acknowledged that the government has interfered with political campaigning, restricted media freedoms, undermined the collection and dissemination of national statistics, limited civil society involvement and placed the citizens at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the denial by the state of its existence.
  • The European Union reiterated its support of the development and prosperity of the people of Tanzania and, in line with Article 4 of the Southern Africa Development Community treaty establishing the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, reaffirmed its attachment to the process towards the consolidation of democratic institutions. Reports of incidents and limitations in the run-up to the elections are of concern. The EU encourages all parties to work together diligently to enable inclusive, transparent, peaceful and credible elections.

Craig Moffat, PhD is the Head of Programme: Governance Delivery and Impact for Good Governance Africa. He has more than 17 years of practical experience working for government institutions and multilateral organisations. He was previously employed by the South African Foreign Service, where he worked extensively at identifying and analysing security threats towards South Africa as well as the southern Africa region. Previously, he was the political advisor for the Pretoria Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Stellenbosch University.

Monique Bennett holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her interest in the field of data science and statistics was sparked by her quantitative methodology course during her studies. Her research focuses on development theory, governance, and the environment within the African context. She has written for news outlets such as the Daily Maverick and supports her research team by providing data-driven evidence for their research/op-eds. She has worked as a research assistant for In On Africa and as a public relations manager for the student organisation, Wits Inala Forum.

Sixolile Ngqwala holds a Master of Commerce (MCom) in Economics from the University of Fort Hare, where he worked on the National Income Dynamics study (NIDS), based at the University of Cape Town, for Econometric research (econometric modelling, data coding, data mining, data analysis and interpretation). Sixolile has two BCom undergraduate degrees (in economics and in business financial management and industrial psychology). For his BCom Honours he majored in econometrics and economics. He has multidisciplinary skills, including an intersection of machine learning and data science (PYTHON and R-programming). Sixolile has background experience in natural resources, working with AngloGold Ashanti in the finance department. Later, he joined CNH-Industrial as a junior strategic developer and government relations. In 2019 he joined Good Governance Africa as a lead researcher, where he is responsible for quantitative and qualitative data management and statistical analysis on research projects relating to natural resources, land reform, and policy analysis, among others. At university he was involved in starting an academic society, New Economic Horizon, that fostered a working relationship between the Auditor-General’s office in the Eastern Cape and the University of Fort Hare’s accounting department.