President Jakaya Kikwete yesterday assured residents of Igunga District and the entire nation that the government will do the most it can to ensure a peaceful by-election in the constituency tomorrow.
He also warned that all those attempting to mar the by-election and therefore engaging in violations of the country’s laws would land in trouble and should therefore desist from illegal behaviour or actions.
The president declared to that effect in his monthly (September) address to the nation, in which he called upon all eligible residents of Igunga to turn up in big numbers and vote for the parliamentary candidate of their choice without fear of finding themselves in problems.
“We shall not accept the polling day to be a day for people to remain bound to their residences for fear that venturing out to polling stations would be risky or dangerous …I assure you that nothing of the sort will happen…and those who think that we are joking about ensuring maximum security will be dealt with accordingly if they try to breach the peace,” President Kikwete insisted.
He called upon Igunga residents to help law-enforcement organs in maintain peace and law and order before, during and after the casting of votes – and the announcement of the election results.
“Resist temptations by politicians to use you for their personal political interests …We should value, safeguard and promote the peace we have inherited from the founders of this nation,” declared President Kikwete.
He noted that the National Electoral Commission has already assured eligible voters in Igunga that all basic preparations for the by-election have been completed and the process will run as planned.
“NEC had distributed all important election materials in all wards and even the posting of returning officers and political party agents has been completed …I believe that the election process will go well,” he added.
He however urged the commission to continue educating and sensitising the people on the procedures they ought to observe “so that they can properly exercise their democratic right by participating meaningfully in the by-election”, adding that it was his wish and prayer that all those registered as voters will actually get the opportunity to vote.
The president’s address also touched on the activities he undertook during his working visit to the US where, among other things, he attended the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and participated in a string of other meetings of interest to Tanzania and Africa alongside other Heads of State and Government.
The main theme of the opening session of the UN General Assembly preparatory session was Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases.
He later addressed the media on the progress made by African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), which he chairs. Also invited to the event were President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, and former US President Bill Clinton.
The president also participated in the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative and later at a special meeting on Putting Teeth into Non-Communicable Diseases, jointly organised by Tanzania, Australia and Sweden.
He also attended a meeting organised by the Roll Back Malaria Institute to mark a decade of the war on the killer disease, a dialogue on the global strategy for the health of women and children and later a Social Good Summit at which he received UN and Nasdaq awards for his central role in promoting the health of women and children.
The President also addressed Diaspora Conference of Tanzanians in the US, calling on them to invest back home and assured them of support from the government.