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5 polling agents perish in Tanzania car crash

Accident sparks criticism of pre-electoral management ahead of Oct. 28 polls

Kizito Makoye   | 21.10.2020
5 polling agents perish in Tanzania car crash FILE PHOTO

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania

Five polling agents died in a car accident in southwestern Tanzania on Wednesday, sparking criticism of how authorities have managed pre-polling processes.

The crash occurred when polling agents of the main opposition party - Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) - were heading to complete their registration ahead of the Oct. 28 elections.

John Mnyika, secretary general of the CHADEMA party, blamed the National Electoral Commission for the tragedy, saying the electoral body gave conflicting information on where agents were to report for the oath-taking.

He said the disorganized handling forced polling agents to rush and cover distances of five hours to reach the relevant council offices.

Meanwhile, the election commission extended the oath-taking exercise for two more days.

In next week’s polls, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli is seeking a second five-year term on the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party’s ticket, with his main opponent being CHADEMA’s Tundu Lissu.

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