The Commonwealth Secretariat and the African Union are being called up to investigate claims of electoral fraud, violence, and human rights violations which have delegitimized the presidential elections which took place in Tanzania on the 28th of October, according to a filing from lawyers for the leading opposition candidate.
The Chadema party flag bearer tweeted: “Voting reports indicate widespread irregularities in form of preventing our polling agents from accessing polling stations. Stuffed ballot boxes found in Kawe, Dar.
There were reports of violence directed at some polling agents even before the voting started,One such post reported: “There was tension in parts of Dar es Salaam after Kawe MP Halima Mdee, who is also Chadema’s Women Wing chairperson, exposed what she described as a rigging plot. This is after finding some fake, marked ballot papers had been sneaked into a polling station”.
When she questioned National Electoral Commission officials about the presence of the ballots estimated to be 10,000, she was arrested.
“ Halima Mdee has been arrested and is being held at Kawe police station. This is after she seized more than 10,000 fake ballot papers and shifting to another polling station. The officers in charge of the polling station called the police, who in turn arrested her,” an agitated voter tweeted.
The fake ballots were allegedly found in Kilongawima at Jangwani Primary School, and had already been marked in favour of CCM candidates. Mdee was later released.
Mr. Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP, which represents Mr. Tundu Lissu of the Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Party for Democracy and Progress) (“CHADEMA”) party, denounced a series of irregularities in filings before the international bodies and urged member nations to withhold recognition of the fraudulent results.
“On election day we witnessed President John Magufuli and the CCM government administer a death blow to Tanzania’s democracy,” says Amsterdam, whose firm published a widely distributed 30-page White Paper earlier this month.
“We have documented cases of ballot stuffing throughout the country, use of violence and intimidation including murder, rape, and use of mercenaries, widespread irregularities, illegal disqualifications of candidates, and sweeping unlawful arrests and detentions of poll monitors.”
The letter highlights urgent concerns that the election rigging could provoke escalating violent exchanges between protesters and the Magufuli regime’s security forces.
“John Pombe Magufuli is no longer a legitimate president, and without immediate means to deliver a fair democratic process, we are most worried that the situation in Tanzania could make #EndSARS protests in Nigeria look tame by comparison,” says Amsterdam.