Wednesday, October 13, 2010



The Citizen
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 20:39
Elections are about stiff competition for leadership, but which must be carried out within the confines of law and order.The increasing reports of violent clashes between the rival supporters of the various candidates and their parties run counter to what our country stands for, which is nurturing democracy in peace and tranquillity.

What all must appreciate is that the polling day of this year’s General Election, October 31, will come and go, but life must go on. This is why all must strongly condemn the ugly face of campaigns that is creeping in. Violence is becoming the order of the day on the campaign trail and this is unacceptable.

A fortnight ago, the security organs warned about the possibility of election violence, sparking criticism and complaints in some quarters. However, given whatever we have just witnessed around the country, it would appear that the warning was justified. There is need for increased vigilance in the last two weeks of the campaigns to ensure that all live to exercise their democratic right to elect their leaders in a peaceful atmosphere.

But ensuring that this happens is not the sole responsibility of the security organs. The political parties and leaders must use their election platforms to preach peace. Let them campaign for victory, but not at the expense of national tranquillity.

Politicians must put national interest ahead of their quest for victory. It will be futile for them to win and have no country to rule because of chaos. But the voters should also take note of politicians might try to use them for their selfish gain. We must never forget that in most cases, the political leaders are never affected directly by violence. It is the common mwananchi who suffers the consequences of poll violence.

We urge all to ensure that peace prevails in the last days of the campaigns, on the voting day and after.