PRESIDENT John Magufuli has called upon Tanzanians to shun politicians whose election campaigns are characterized by hatred and fear, in order to uphold the country’s peace and unity.
The Head of State made the call in Dodoma yesterday, while addressing members of the Council of Tanzania Assemblies of God (TAG) Church at the Central Bible College.
Dr Magufuli said that in some countries, elections had been a source of violence, urging religious leaders to pray for the crucial process to be conducted peacefully.
“The election is a crucial process which enables people to choose their leaders on a democratic basis… I therefore call upon all religious leaders to encourage their followers to take part in the procedure, especially on polling day,” Dr Magufuli remarked, adding: "As we are all aware, our country is scheduled to hold the General Election in the near future for Union and Zanzibar presidents, members of parliament, House of Representatives and councillors… it is important for every eligible voter to participate in the process,” he noted.
He made a reminder that this year's polling day wouldn’t be on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday since the National Electoral Commission had set October 28 as the voting day to allow many people to exercise their democratic right.
Dr Magufuli called upon religious leaders and Tanzanians at large to pray to God to grant the nation leaders who are visionary, hard working and patriotic, and prevent it from falling into the hands of people who are embezzlers, selfish and puppets.
“The work of such people is to demolish instead of building, to pluck instead of planting and disperse instead of collecting… we pray to God to grant us wisdom so that we make the right choices,” he said.
“In some countries elections had been a source of violence, religious leaders and citizens should continue praying so that we can conduct peaceful polls while upholding national unity,” he noted.
He further reiterated that the government would ensure that the 2020 general election would be peaceful, free, fair and transparent.
President Magufuli, however, urged politicians to conduct civilized campaigns and avoid language that provokes fear to the citizens. He furthermore urged wananchi to be wary of politicians who preach hatred and fear in their election campaigns.
Dr Magufuli said that politicians should market their parties’ manifestos instead of stirring hatred that would lead to the breach of peace.
He called upon Tanzanians to stand together to ensure that the election is concluded peacefully.
“We should not allow divisions related to politics, religions or tribes… we must remind ourselves that we all belong to God who is a ruler of the universe,” he remarked.
Recently Dr Magufuli requested all political parties to invest in ethical and civilised campaigns, while reiterating his resolve to ensure free, fair and peaceful election on October 28, this year.
Speaking at the launching of new NEC office building in the capital city Dodoma, he urged political party leaders and their supporters to refrain from unfair campaign tactics, reject hatred and instead strive to promote peace and harmony throughout the campaign period and after elections.
He laid emphasis on peaceful campaigns characterized by peace messaging, whereby politicians and voters alike are called upon to campaign, vote and accept election results without resorting to the use of violence.