Premier: Diaspora could vote in 2020

24May 2019
Polycarp Machira
DODOMA
The Guardian
Premier: Diaspora could vote in 2020

THE government is putting in place necessary mechanisms to enabled Diaspora Tanzanians to vote in the next general election, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said yesterday.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

He said that the government is currently in the process to establish the number of Tanzanians abroad, what they do and who still hold national citizenship.

 

The premier made the observation while responding to a question asked by Special Seats MP Asha Abdullah Juma (CCM) who wanted to know preparations by the government to allow Tanzanians abroad to vote.

She said the government has done so many things but failure to have in place mechanisms to allow those living and working outside the country to vote in general elections stains its image.

“Despite the good things done by the government, failure to allow Tanzanians abroad participate in elections is denying them their rights,” she said.

In response the premier said that for a long time there has been calls to have a system that enables those outside the country to vote. “The government has heard the call for this need and is working on the best way to do it since it requires a lot of processes.”

As of 2015 it was estimated that more than 1.5 million Tanzanians living and working overseas did not participate in the October general elections due to lack of infrastructure.

 Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the government did not have “sufficient infrastructure” to enable Tanzanians abroad to vote.

The government then reported there were over 1.5 million Tanzanians who have registered to vote but the government was having problems providing them with national identity cards for easy identification and proof of citizenship.

Tanzanian Diaspora members have urged the government to resolve the issue before the next polls in order not to disenfranchise them.

Records show Tanzanians abroad have been actively contributing to the development of the country. Their contribution according to government sources soared, with the most recent data update showing that a total of US$14.157million (about TSh30billion) has been remitted home since 2015.

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