The chairman of Tanzania’s main opposition Chadema party said he is confident the opposition will win Sunday’s presidential election over the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party which has ruled Tanzania since independence in 1964.
Freeman Mbowe said Tanzanians are fed up with what he calls the failed policies of the ruling party and want change.
“This is a very exciting moment for my country, for Tanzania and for Africa because Tanzania and Africa are going to witness the fall of one of the oldest parties in Africa on Sunday, the 25th of October. We have been conducting a very successful campaign," said Mbowe.
Opposition brimming with confidence
Mbowe said the opposition campaign is being bolstered by the support of young people who make up about 50 percent of the population and most of whom are tired with the old promises of the ruling CCM party.
“I feel confident because we have seen the way the campaign has been going on, and we have seen the support of the masses, particularly the youth,” Mbowe said.
He also said the ruling CCM has mishandled the economy during 51 years it has ruled Tanzania since the country’s independence and the people want change.
“The ruling CCM party has done everything wrong. They've mismanaged the economy; this country has remained in poverty for the last 51 years of independence. People have no reason to vote CCM back into office again, and people are crying for change, and change is what we are going to provide,” Mbowe said.
Ruling CCM Party candidate promises reform
Presidential candidate Dr. John Magufuli of the ruling CCM party has promised to fight corruption by establishing a special court. He has also promised to tackle unemployment and revive the economy in Tanzania.
But Freeman Mbowe is confident of victory and said the only worry the opposition has is the independence of the electoral commission.
“It’s only 48 hours ago that the commission issued the permanent voter register for the first time and we have realized a lot of mistakes in this voter register. Point number 2, all the senior officials of the electoral commission have been changed in the last four weeks. The reason being the CCM government brought into office people from the intelligence service to actually supervise process and the election,” Mbowe said
The electoral commission issued a directive this month for the public to go home after casting their ballots so the country will have a peaceful and conflict free elections.
Opposition wants to stay close to polling places
The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) through its elections Observer Mission also called for all to leave immediately after voting.
The SADC said milling around polling stations after casting one’s vote was recipe for disrupting the electoral process.
But Mbowe said the opposition does not intend to obey the directive because if the people go home, there’s the possibility the elections could be rigged.
“We know if we decided not to be vigilant around the polling stations, people will bring rigged ballot boxes; they will bring in fig votes. So if the law allows us to stay closer, we should be able to stay there,” he said.
Mbowe said his Chadema party would be willing to concede defeat if it believes the election has been transparent, free and fair.