Future of Arumeru East depends on Sunday’s by-election

Future of Arumeru East depends on Sunday’s by-election

Several political parties are vying for the Arumeru east seat, but trends indicate that two rival parties -- the ruling CCM and its major challenger Chadema have been running neck-to-neck in clinching the seat. CCM has been working hard to retain the seat and picked youthful Sioi Sumari to fly the ruling party’s flag.

A score of the party’s heavy weights threw their weights behind him, starting with retired president and former CCM national chairperson, Mr Benjamin William Mkapa. As expected, the main opposition Chadema, sent its outspoken national party leaders in support of their candidate, Joshua Nassari.

The party’s campaign trade mark, the chopper, was one of the attractions to its campaign rallies. For about three or so week, all the ears were on Arumeru East as candidates fought to impress the electorate they are best candidate to represent them in the Parliament in Dodoma.

Yes, they have spoken and the electorate have heard them. It is now time for them to make informed decision and choose the candidate of their choice without any intimidation. In short, we expect this by-election to be peaceful, at least this time. We have had bad experiences of violent by-elections in the past, some of which have cost lives and loss of property. Trends in Arumeru East are no exception.

The campaign rallies have not been entirely peaceful. It is unfortunate that there had been incidents of violence in campaign rallies in several parts of the constituency, mainly pitting CCM and Chadema rivals. In some incidents the law enforcers had to intervene in order to maintain law and order.

This is not right because some of such unbecoming behaviour might disrupt the will of voters; they need to have peace of mind as they exercise their constitutional rights of who they want to be their representative, and not otherwise. Already we have experiences of the 2010 general election where sizeable number of voters was scared to turn out into polling stations because of utterances by some law enforcers.

It should not happen in Arumeru East. We are concerned that civilization is not sinking into people’s mind, including some sections of politicians who go on trading insults in political campaigns. Candidates should base their campaigns of arguments bearing in mind that the electorate are well informed of what is good or right for them.

Gone are the days where politicians will promise electorate that they would build bridge where there is no river. Simply what they want is they will cooperate with them to improve their living conditions through participatory approach in socio-economic programmes.

The law enforcers need to refrain from being mentioned as source of breach of peace in the political election campaign and the Arumeru East must be litmus test for them. On the other hand, the National Electoral Commission (NEC), as custodians of this process, must be tough to ensure all laid down procedures are adhered to. Fairness is what the people of Arumeru East want and it is NEC’s duty to ensure this happens.

Whoever wins is what the people of Arumeru East have chosen and the contesting parties must be aware of this. For they might have done their best in the campaigns, they are all qualified, of which we agree, but there is only one post that will have to be filled by one candidate the people have chosen and have to be respected.

Conceding defeat is part of the political game and whoever loses must be willing to accept the outcome and not resort to petitions that are, in our opinion, costly and counterproductive. The people of Arumeru East want a leader who will lift them to a higher level of development and this is what they are going to do on Sunday. We wish them good luck.

Author: EDITOR

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