Date set for Dar mayoral election

12Mar 2016
Edward Qorro
Arusha
The Guardian
Date set for Dar mayoral election

Minister of State in the President’s Office responsible for Local Government and Regional Administration, George Simbachawene yesterday ordered the acting director of Dar es Salaam City Council to set the controversial mayoral election date not later than March 25.

The view for a part of Dar es Salaam

The minister decried the controversy marring the polls, saying it was taking a toll to Dar residents, and that there was much at stake in the protracted election.

The minister also challenged the Ukawa opposition and the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi warring factions to revisit the decision of halting the polls, saying it was imperative for them to resolve their differences before the deadline.

“The government is very keen to see Dar residents elect their leaders democratically and that’s why we see no point of dragging the polls any further,” said the minister while briefing reporters in Arusha.

The minister also expressed his disappointment over some CCM cadres who have been accusing him of siding with the opposition coalition of Ukawa in the race to the election, pledging not give up his quest for truth.

“Some of them have been using the media to taint my image but I will stand for what I believe is right,” said the minister without delving further on the issue.

A tense atmosphere has greeted Dar’s mayoral election after the city’s authorities cancelled the election twice.
Late last month, the city’s acting director Sarah Yohana announced cancellation of the poll after the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s court issued a temporary injunction.

The application to stop the process was filed on February 5 this year by Susan Ernest and Saad Mohamed Khimji before Principal Resident Magistrate Warialwande Lema.

The decision by Yohana to announce the postponement of the high stake election saw CCM and some Ukawa members engaging themselves in violent encounters after angry Ukawa members overpowered police officers in the hall as they confronted the acting city director, demanding a clear explanation from her.

In her response, the acting city director told the irate members that her office had acted in accordance with the court's decision, and that conducting elections could be interpreted as contempt of the court.

She further urged the voters and other people to respect the court order and vacate the hall.

Anti-riot police had to be called into action to quell the tense atmosphere at the Karimjee Hall.

Two MPs and councilors of the main opposition Chadema had since been arrested and charged with assaulting Dar es Salaam Regional Secretary Theresia Mmbando in the ensuing melee.

They include Kawe parliamentarian Halima Mdee and her feloow law maker from Ukonga Mwita Waitara.