The United States has announced visa restrictions on Tanzanian officials responsible for or complicit in undermining Tanzania’s October 28, 2020, general elections.
I the statement issued on Tuesday, Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State said that the actions of these officials subverted the electoral process, continuing the downward trajectory of the country’s democracy.
Election observers and civil society noted widespread irregularities as well as human rights abuses and violations before, during, and after the election
President John Magufuli won a resounding election victory with 84 percent of the votes in a poll his main rival said was riddled with irregularities such as ballot box stuffing. Magufuli’s main challenger, the Chadema party candidate Tundu Lissu, 52, won only 13 percent of the vote, after denouncing widespread fraud, intimidation and oppression of the opposition.
No final results were given for the parliamentary results however Magufuli’s ruling CCM had earlier won all but two seats, with around 200 of 264 parliamentary seats announced.
Opposition candidates were routinely disqualified, harassed, and arrested. Significant and widespread voting irregularities, internet disruptions, intimidation of journalists, and violence by security forces made this election neither free nor fair.
The election took place with little monitoring from foreign observers and most international media were unable to gain accreditation to cover voting on the mainland.
Civil society leaders remain under threat in the post-election period, and opposition leaders have fled the country out of fear for their safety.
Secretary of State urged the Government of Tanzania to reverse course and hold accountable those responsible for the flawed election, violence, and intimidation.
‘ ‘The United States will continue to closely follow developments in Tanzania and will not hesitate to take additional actions against individuals complicit in undermining democracy and violating human rights.’’ He said
He added: we emphasize that today’s actions are not directed at the Tanzanian people. We commend Tanzanians who participated in the election peacefully and in good faith, and we will work together with all those committed to advancing democracy, human rights, and mutual prosperity.