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How Magufuli has steered Tanzania down the road of an authoritarian one-party state

How Magufuli has steered Tanzania down the road of an authoritarian one-party state

TANZANIA'S 2020 general elections resulted in a predictably easy victory for one of Africa’s oldest ruling parties, Chama Cha Mapinduzi. NICODEMUS MINDE, PhD Fellow, United States International University The National Electoral Commission declared the incumbent, John Magufuli, the winner with 84.4% of the vote. His closest challenger, Chadema’s Tundu Lissu, garnered a paltry 13%. The ruling party also won 261 of the 264 parliamentary seats. This represents 98.86% of the total. Similar results were reported in Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous island region of Tanzania. There the presidential candidate Hussein Mwinyi was declared the winner with 76.6% of the votes. The ruling…
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At the edge of democracy: what the upcoming general election holds in store for Tanzania

At the edge of democracy: what the upcoming general election holds in store for Tanzania

NICODEMUS MINDE, PhD Fellow, United States International University BEFORE the heroic return of opposition figure, Tundu Lissu, in late July 2020, Tanzania’s political landscape lacked the exuberance and ebullience that comes with an election season. Lissu’s return reignited the hopes of a despondent opposition that had been subdued by the oppressive and restrictive political environment during President John Magufuli’s five-year term. Lissu has been active in politics for the last two decades. He was elected to parliament on a Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Party for Democracy and Progress) ticket in 2010. A firebrand lawyer and politician, he is known…
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Tanzanian president Magufuli to face 14 challengers in Oct elections

Tanzanian president Magufuli to face 14 challengers in Oct elections

TANZANIAN president John Magufuli will face 14 challengers in elections scheduled for this October, the elections board announced on Wedne, with analysts saying a divided opposition was likely to ensure he won a second term. His main challengers are likely to be Tundu Lissu, who returned to Tanzania last month after spending nearly three years in Belgium for treatment after he was shot during an assassination attempt, and ex-foreign minister Bernard Membe, who was expelled from the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi party in February. The presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for October 28. Opposition parties are heading to the…
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Tanzanian who survived 16 bullets runs for president

Tanzanian who survived 16 bullets runs for president

A politician who survived being shot 16 times in an apparent assassination attempt will challenge Tanzania's president in October elections, his party said as rights groups voiced concern about increasing repression ahead of the polls. Tundu Lissu, who clinched the nomination for the leading opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) party, is a fierce critic of President John Magufuli. Lissu survived the attempt on his life in 2017 and left to seek medical treatment abroad, returning from exile last week. His attackers have never been found. Magufuli condemned the attack. Lissu's endorsement by all delegates present after prevailing over…
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Tanzanian opposition leader who survived 2017 gun attack returns from exile

Tanzanian opposition leader who survived 2017 gun attack returns from exile

TANZANIA's opposition leader and potential presidential candidate Tundu Lissu arrived home on Monday from Belgium where he took exile and underwent treatment after being shot three years ago. Lissu, 52, was met at an airport in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam by relatives, political allies and thousands of supporters from his party CHADEMA. A fierce critic of President John Magufuli's government, he was shot 16 times, mostly in the lower abdomen, in an attack by unknown gunmen in the administrative capital Dodoma in September 2017. At the time, Magufuli condemned the shooting and ordered security forces to investigate, but…
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Tanzania police arrest main opposition party leader ahead of protests

Tanzania police arrest main opposition party leader ahead of protests

TANZANIAN police have arrested Freeman Mbowe, the leader of the main opposition party Chadema, according to Tundu Lissu, the party's candidate in last week's presidential election. The opposition has demanded a repeat election, citing widespread irregularities, and called for protests against the outcome, which returned President John Magufuli to office with 84% of the vote. Those arrested with Mbowe include a former member of parliament Godbless Lema, the former mayor of Dar es Salaam, Isaya Mwita, and the former mayor of Ubungo municipality, Boniface Jacob. "I got a message around midnight that they had been taken in," Lissu told Reuters…
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Tanzania’s opposition candidate calls election a “travesty”

Tanzania’s opposition candidate calls election a “travesty”

TANZANIA’S leading opposition presidential candidate urged countries around the world on Thursday not to recognise the eventual results of an election held the previous day, calling it a "travesty" due to widespread irregularities. Tundu Lissu, the main challenger to incumbent President John Magufuli, told Reuters the defects in the process meant that the results - expected within a week - could not be trusted. Magufuli is seeking a second, five-year term in presidential and parliamentary polls marked by complaints of restricted internet access and accusations of fraud. Tundu Lissu addressing the parliament of Tanzania in Dodoma. Photo Likumbage "The results…
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Tanzania president Magufuli seeks second term as polls open

Tanzania president Magufuli seeks second term as polls open

TANZANIANS headed to the polls today for presidential and parliamentary elections that President John Magufuli hopes will hand him another five-year term despite criticism from rights groups that the government has stifled political dissent. Magufuli's main challengers include Tundu Lissu, who was shot 16 times in 2017, and former foreign minister Bernard Membe. The attack on Lissu, who returned from three years in exile in July, has never been solved. People turned out early to cast their ballots in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday morning. "The voting process is good, calm," local pastor Clement Fumbo told Reuters after voting. "I…
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Opposition in Zanzibar says candidate detained, people shot ahead of vote

Opposition in Zanzibar says candidate detained, people shot ahead of vote

AN opposition presidential candidate in Zanzibar detained as he tried to vote early on Tuesday has been released, after nine people were shot dead by security forces ahead of Wednesday's elections, according to his party. Zanzibar, an Indian Ocean archipelago, is a semi-autonomous state of the East African country of Tanzania and both are due to elect their presidents and lawmakers in Wednesday's election. President John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania makes his address at the 17th Summit of EAC Heads of State. Photo source: Paul Kagame Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli, whose government is accused of muzzling political dissent and…
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Tanzania opposition leader says facing repression as elections near

Tanzania opposition leader says facing repression as elections near

THREE weeks before elections, the Tanzanian government is getting scared and will do all in its power to stop the opposition, according to Tundu Lissu, a presidential hopeful whose convoy was teargassed by police last week. "It is getting harder. It is getting hotter. We expected this," Lissu, from the main opposition Chadema party, told Reuters on Wednesday. Chadema says its party offices in Arusha in northern Tanzania were firebombed. Meanwhile, dozens of opposition parliamentary candidates were disqualified from running in the elections for president and members of parliament on October 28. "The regime is getting scared and therefore they…
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