Tanzanians today voted in the East Africa country’s presidential polls characterized by a violent crackdown on opposition parties, Aljazeera reports.
John Magufuli who is seeking a second term in the elections has been accused of running the country with an iron fist, reportedly cracked down on opposition party members and banned prediction polls among other ills.
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According to Aljazeera, local and international observers say Tanzania has seen a worrying crackdown on the opposition.
Here are some of the eventualities that occurred in Tanzania before the election day in which Magufuli is poised to win:
- Crackdown on the opposition and freedom of speech
- Opinion polls banned,
- His top opposition challenger is Tundu Lissu, a survivor of an assassination attempt in 2017, who returned from exile earlier this year to campaign. He was banned from campaigning for a week earlier this month by authorities who accused him of making seditious comments.
- Hate speech and intimidation of candidates
- There are legitimate concerns that the heavy police and army deployment across Zanzibar is intimidating residents and creating fear and despondency that could deter voters from turning out.
- Authorities made it difficult to accredit thousands of their own observers.
- Deadly violence erupted ahead of the vote as Tanzania’s other top opposition party, ACT Wazalendo, accused police of shooting dead nine people in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar.
- The opposition accused the governing party supporters of shooting dead two people at a rally in a town in the northeast.
Meanwhile in Zimbabwe by-elections are banned because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.