Tanzania's opposition party moves to court over ‘flawed’ polls


ACT-Wazalendo chief party advisor Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad during a past event. 

Photo credit: Edwin Mjwahuzi | Nation Media Group

Tanzania's ACT-Wazalendo has sued the government at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights over alleged electoral misconduct.

The party is challenging the government for interfering with their rights in the just concluded election that saw Dr John Magufuli and Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi declared winners for the union and Zanzibar presidency respectively.

On Monday, ACT-Wazalendo head of Legal Affairs Omar Said Shaaban said the case was filed on November 20.

He said the outcome of the court case will make a significant contribution in pushing forward various agenda of change that have to be supported by continental and international stakeholders.

The applicants argued that both the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC), that organised and supervised the conduct of the elections in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, were compromised.

They said: “That preceding, during and immediately after the elections, the respondent through its agents namely NEC, ZEC, the Tanzania Police Force, Tanzania Intelligence and Security Service, Tanzania Peoples Defence Force and Tanzania Communications and Regulatory Authority, the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, the Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation, the Ministry for Regional Administration and Local Government, the Ministry for Regional Administration, Local Government and Special Forces engaged in multiple acts that violated the rights of the applicants to participate in the elections as citizens of the Respondent.”

They alleged institutions above to have worked for CCM, to the detriment of other political parties, the applicants were molested while their agents were denied access to polling stations and that security agencies refused to investigate reported allegations.