Tanzania decides: voter turnout high, a few issues reported


I’M EXECUTING MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT: one Ruth Temu casting her vote

As voting in Tanzania’s fifth democratic general election inches to a close, preliminary reports indicate voter turnout was high but there have been a few problems at polling stations including missing names and fewer ballots.

While most of the polling stations opened doors as early as 7:00 am, a number of voting centers delayed until 10 am, raising tensions among the already disappointed voters.

A quick spot survey by Afrika Reporter website in Dar es Salaam, the countries main city found polling stations were not equipped with enough ballots vis a vis the estimated 22 million voters.

At EDP royal primary and secondary polling stations with registered voters 479 and 489 respectively they needed 10 ballots for presidential, parliamentary and councilor positions, voting was delayed due to lack of ballots and voters were frustrated.

Godfrey Sam, an agent at EDP told this website “voters are now stranded without knowing what to do because the process cannot start without full number of ballots.”

Rashid Ngajua, election agent at WEO polling station in Mbagala identified 15 voters who had valid IDs but there names  were not on the register. “They cannot vote. Yes they have seen their names at the notice board, but it’s unfortunate that we haven’t seen their names in the books we verify before voting.”

Public transportation also impacted voting as many voters who could not afford hiring taxis or motorcycles were seen walking long distances to polling stations and some chose not to go altogether.

It was a slow business day, first because it was Sunday, and second even those businesses who would have opened chose to close as managers and employees joined in the queues to vote.

Security was beefed up around big polling stations, well armed police officers mounted around the clock patrols to ensure the exercise went on incident-free.

Ruth Temu, a resident of Saranga, told this website she was excited to have voted in the election.