By LEVINA KATO, 6th October 2010 @ 22:00, THE government has praised armed forces for warning politicians and other elements engaged in acts that are likely to disrupt peace in the run up to the October 31, general elections. The Minister for Defence and National Service, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, on Wednesday came out in support of statement issued by top officials of the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) and Police on the conduct and mischievous remarks by some politicians. "Armed forces and other security organs have a crucial role to play in defence of the country's peace and security at this time. It is on this ground that TPDF joined other security organs to assure the people of their safety during the elections and warn that any act designed to disrupt the peace will not be tolerated, he said adding: It is important to note that all security organs including the army, the police and the intelligence work together to ensure public safety and security at all the time." Dr Mwinyi maintained that the statement was not meant to intimidate anyone or scare off people from voting but was an assurance of their safety. May be people do not understand that the army has an auxiliary responsibility to the police to ensure public safety when need arises, he said when reacting to criticism from candidates, political parties and civil society over TPDF's role on public security during the elections. The Feminist Activist Coalition (FEMACT) on Wednesday faulted the army for being part of a joint warning issued by security organs last week against would-be trouble makers during the polls. In their statement, the activists urged TPDF to stay away from politics and public security issues saying it was beyond their mandate of protecting territorial borders. We FemAct are shocked, disapprove and condemn security organs for the statement in the manner and channel used to relay it. The timing, its context, content and its impression are unacceptable, noted the organisations statement. The activists said Article 138 of the Constitution was silent on direct involvement of the military on elections and did not give mandate for the Chief of Defence Forces to issue an order on the same. Therefore they said they considered the move unconstitutional. Femact also cited Article 74 of the Constitution which it says does not recognize Security and Defence Forces as a part of the National Electoral Commission (NEC). We believe, the army has a hidden agenda safeguarding personal and not national interests, added the statement. Besides political sarcasm, FemAct said there was no threat to peace, and therefore they believe security organs are misused by a small group of people for personal interests. The activists also wondered why the army is interfering with the responsibilities of the police saying the move was going beyond their mandate. But Dr Mwinyi said people have different interpretation and perception of different issues. Ours is a genuine move and meant to alert the public that security organs are fully prepared to ensure peace and tranquillity is maintained during elections. In fact we expected that all who wish well this nation to commend these organs and not mock them, the minister said. Lt Gen Abdulrahman Shimbo was quoted last week saying there have been signs of disrupting peace and tranquillity in the ongoing campaigns with some politicians threatening to shed blood. Lt Gen. Shimbo was flanked by the Deputy Director of Criminal Investigations, Mr Peter Kivuyo and Head of the Police Special Operations Unit, Mr Venance Tossi. There was also a representative from the intelligence unit. Some politicians are alleging that security forces are biased in the execution of their duty. We are not doing the work of any political party but we are loyal to the government and its leaders, noted Lt Gen. Shimbo last week.