Electoral body downplays Chadema claims over election rigging

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Dar es Salaam. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) on Thursday, September 20, 2018 has ordered Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe to apologise for uttering false allegations against the body.

Speaking to journalists at a press conference held at the NEC’s head offices in Dar es Salaam, Electoral commission’s director Athuman Kihamia gave the opposition leader seven days to apologise.

“I urge Tanzanians to ignore the allegations. All the allegations are false. NEC is independent and there were no election irregularities during the process,” he said.

He added: “All the polling stations in Arusha and Dar es Salaam were equipped with sufficient election equipment and the process was done peacefully.”

This comes after Chadema Chairman, who is also the Hai MP, Mr Mbowe at a press conference held at the party’s headquarters on Wednesday in the city, accused the Electoral body over inconsistencies during the Parliamentary and ward by-elections held on September 16, 2018 for Ukonga and Monduli constituencies in Dar es Salaam and Arusha regions respectively.

Among others, the Chadema leader accused the body for disallowing some agents from the Opposition political parties from participating in the election process.

Responding, at the press conference Mr Kihamia dismissed the opposition’s allegations and reiterated that the by-elections were fair and transparent.

The Electoral commission further urged the opposition Chadema to report its complaints to the relevant authorities, citing that the opposition could go to Court for further proceedings.

 “If the parties are not satisfied with the results, they should follow proper procedures to report their complaints. Adding: “We have a committee to deal with such complaints.”