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.
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.