A leaf to take from Tanzania’s election 2015

17Feb 2016
The Guardian
A leaf to take from Tanzania’s election 2015

UGANDANS are going to the polls tomorrow and already the country has faced election related clashes two days ago.

In the Monday clashes, at least one person lost his life and dozens others were injured as riot police met head-on with opposition supporters in the streets of Kampala.

Police fired tear gas canisters while opposition supporters threw whatever rudimentary weapons they had, an all too familiar woeful African tale.
The tragic occurrence is also happening alongside ongoing conflict in war torn Burundi.

Like in Uganda, opposition leaders are crying foul play claiming the incumbent is again running for the presidency seat unconstitutionally.
Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza is looking to run for what opposition and others are calling a third term but he maintains it is only his second.

At that point of discrepancy, follows the legal and political propaganda war in which hardly any three piece suit lawyer or bow tie wearing lobbyists ever gets hurt.

It is the innocent common man that gets the short end of the stick in such instances.After words are thrown across conference tables and promises are whispered in office hallways, the actual fighting starts in the streets, afflicting women, children and the old alike.

In this regard, we all tip our hats to Tanzania’s opposition leader Edward Lowassa who indeed deserves a Noble Peace price award for his acceptance of last year’s election results.

Until the country went to the polls, it was well understood that since multipartism started in the 90s, the ruling party CCM had never before faced such a challenge from the opposition.

The crowds were historic and media had a field day with the adjectives, tsunami, storm, floods and so on, it seemed that the only suitable description of the masses was by use of weather phenomena.

With African states having such a tainted name, it followed that most foreigners in the country at that time were visibly shaken, many left the country stores closed early, tension was high. However, election day came and passed, not a drop of blood was shed, at least not in the name of political strife.

Had Lowassa denounced the results or called for demonstrations, Tanzania’s famous peace and tranquility would have come to an end.

It is in this wise, that many an African country ought to pick a leaf from Tanzania’s political book.Besigye is running against Museveni in what will be the fifth presidential vote since the latter, with the help of Tanzania took power in a military coup back in 1986.

The two face it off at the polls tomorrow when Uganda decides.EAC election observers on the ground in Kampala say the situation is calm and under control despite the Monday clashes. It can only be hoped that that fact remains true long after the elections.

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