PRESIDENTIAL candidates and other top politicians lauded the smooth voting process in the 2020 General Election held yesterday nationwide, calling upon Tanzanians to remain calm as they wait for the results.
Most of the voters were pleased with the arrangements at polling stations as they smoothly and peacefully cast their ballots.
Millions of Tanzanians, including Presidential, Parliamentary and Councillorship candidates, turned up to exercise their constitutional right, with 80,155 polling stations set up across the country.
The ruling party (CCM) presidential candidate Dr John Magufuli cast his vote at Idara Ya Maji polling station in Chamwino District, Dodoma Region, and lauded the arrangements at the station since the electorate voted without any inconveniences.
Dr Magufuli who was accompanied by his wife Janeth Magufuli asked Tanzanians to continue preserving peace and unity, especially during and after the election.
“I am asking all Tanzanians to continue preserving peace, we must give peace and unity the first priority… there’s life after election,” noted Dr Magufuli.
Dr Magufuli and his presidential running mate and incumbent vice-president Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan look clear favourites to return to the top office.
They face off against a disjointed opposition, in which fourteen parties have fielded candidates, making this year’s presidential race one of the highly-crowded.
Returning Officer for Chamwino and Mvumi constituencies, Mr Athuman Masasi said everything was in place and the voting process was going on well.
“So far everything is fine, voters are in queues as required and as you have seen, CCM Presidential candidate, Dr Magufuli also queued and voted,” he said.
CCM presidential running mate Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan who cast her vote in Zanzibar’s Kiembesamaki commended the National Electoral Commission (NEC) for managing the voting process.
“Despite huge voter turnout at different polling stations, the process went smoothly… people cast their vote without wasting time in queues,”she said.
The Civic United Front (CUF) presidential candidate, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, a runner-up during the 2000 and 2005 presidential elections, said despite a few challenges during the exercise, Tanzanians should remain calm and maintain peace as they wait for the results.
“We should be patient and avoid breaching the country’s peace as we wait for the results,” noted Prof Lipumba.
CCM Central Committee Member and Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, casting his ballot at his home village’s Nandagala polling station, Ruangwa District in Lindi Region, commended election officials at the polling station for coordinating well the entire process.
“Voters observed all the required procedures and were given instructions which enabled them to vote smoothly,” the PM said.
Mr Majaliwa, who arrived at the polling station at 10:20am, accompanied by his wife Mary Majaliwa, implored Tanzanians to continue upholding the prevailing peace post election.
Demokrasia Makini presidential candidate Cecilia Mwanga, speaking after casting her vote also emphasized on peace.
“I ask my fellow politicians not to preach hatred, instead, they should insist on peace and security because you cannot lead where there is war and deaths,” she said at Kibonde Maji Street in Dar es Salaam.
Ms Mwanga advised her fellow contenders to stick on addressing challenges facing the citizens by devising solutions.
Chama cha Demkorasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) presidential contestant Mr Tundu Lissu, cast his vote at Ntewa A, Primary School in Ikungi district, Singida region, also lauded the whole exercise saying it went well and he had not received any reports of hiccups.
“The voting exercise here, so far, we have not received any report of snags and we are glad for that,” he said.
Chama cha Ukombozi wa Umma (CHAUMMA) presidential candidate, Hashim Rungwe was among the voters who appeared at the Ushindi Primary School in Mikocheni ‘B’ Kawe, Dar es Salaam polling station to fulfill his constitutional rights.
After voting, Mr Rungwe noted that he was impressed with the job well done by electoral returning officers, saying they were cooperative and the polling stations were not crowded with long queues.
Lipumba cast his vote at Mtakuja Primary School in Dar es Salaam, calling on NEC to ensure the exercise remains free and fair to the final counting and announcing the results. He lauded returning officers for the good job.