Kenya Speaks on Interfering in Tanzanian Elections

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Tanzania President Pombe Magufuli (right) enjoy a light moment after the former visited the later in Tanzania in July 2019
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Tanzania President Pombe Magufuli (right) enjoy a light moment after the former visited the later in Tanzania in July 2019
    PSCU
  • Kenya has responded to reports of interfering in the Tanzanian elections that have been marred by allegations of widespread fraud.

    An unverified report that has since gone viral suggested that the Tanzanian government was blaming the Kenyan intelligence services for collaborating with individuals and organisations in Tanzania to allegedly destabilize the country through incitement. 

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Foreign Affairs PS Ambassador Macharia Kamau termed the reports as false.

    "That's utter nonsense," he stated in response to the interference claims.

    Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau April 14, 2020.
    Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau April 14, 2020.
    File

    As of Friday, October 30, Tanzanian president John Magufuli was leading in early results and his ruling party winning the overwhelming majority of the parliamentary seat in polls that have drawn accusations of fraud.

    The elections have been marred by allegations from rights groups that the incumbent president was restricting democratic freedoms.

    A report by Tanzania Elections Watch Panel on the polls that is led by three co-chairs Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa from Uganda, Dr. Willy Mutunga from Kenya and Alice Mogwe from Botswana expressed their concern over the conduct of the elections.

    "We are concerned that the incidents reported so far in the process bear questions on the credibility of the electoral process," the group of eminent persons observed.

    Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga during a court seating while he served as the Chief Justice.
    Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga during a court seating while he served as the Chief Justice.
    File

    On his part, US Ambassador to Tanzania Donald J. Wright condemned reports of violence meted on Tanzanians by state agencies. 

    "I'm alarmed by reports from Zanzibar and elsewhere of violence, deaths, and detentions. It's not too late to prevent more bloodshed! Security forces must show restraint, and the NEC and ZEC must carry out their duties with integrity. Let's all pray for peaceful, fair elections," he stated.

    The US embassy further noted that that opposition parties, civil society groups and election observers had made a credible allegation of significant election-related fraud and intimidation.

    "These irregularities and the overwhelming margins of victory raise serious doubts about the credibility of the results announced, as well as Tanzania's government's commitment to democratic values," Ambassador Wright noted.

    However, on Wednesday, October 28, the head of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Semistocles Kaijage dismissed the claims of electoral fraud stating that allegations of fake ballot papers were unsubstantiated.

    Tanzania's head of the National Electoral Commission Semistocles Kaijage
    Tanzania's head of the National Electoral Commission Semistocles Kaijage.
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