Tanzania polls: Panic as cabinet ministers lose parliamentary seats

Nine Tanzanian government ministers, and members of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) have lost their parliamentary seats to opposition coalition UKAWA, according to results of last Sunday’s general election released by the country’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) thus far.

The massive loss has sent shockwaves within ruling CCM but observers warn it is still very early to write the obituary of the most influential and dominant political organization in the land as far as the presidential contest is concerned. NEC is yet to announce full results of the most competitive election in Tanzania’s political history.

Some of the ministers who lost their seats to the opposition include Agriculture Minister Stephen Wasira, Investment Minister Christopher Chiza, Deputy Health Minister Stephen Kebwe and Deputy Education Minister Anna Kilango Malecela.

Despite some few pockets of irregularities, The Electoral Commission chairman Judge Damian Lubuva has applauded the overall exercise saying it was free and fair a few issues notwithstanding.

International poll observers have also commended Tanzania’s electoral process despite “fraud” claims by the opposition that has even threatened to boycott the outcomes of Sunday’s poll.