Dont celebrate yet,Nec tells unopposedrunners By Mkinga Mkinga Its too early for unopposed parliamentary candidates to celebrate after their rivels were disqualified through objections,the National Electoral Commission cautioned yesterday(NEC) The NEC director for elections, Mr Rajab Kiravu, told The Citizen yesterday that aspirants who have been axed by the returning officers following objections by the rivals, have a right to appeal to NEC. He said there is great possibility that NEC, which started to receive the appeal yesterday, might overturn the decisions by the returning officers, if it is presented with evidence to prove that the decisions by the returning officers were not on merit. Until now there are about four parliamentary candidates, all of them from ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), who have found themselves without contenders after their objections were upheld by returning officers. They include three ministers and one member. They are Mr Lawrence Masha, the minister for Home Affairs and candidate for from Nyamagana constituency and his Sengerema counterpart, Mr William Ngeleja, who also serves as the minister for Energy and Natural Resources. The list is also made up by the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Bernard Membe who contest for Mtama constituency in Lindi region as well as Singida Urban candidate, Mr Mohammed Dewji. They were all declared sole candidates by returning officers in their respective constituencies after the objections against other contenders were upheld. Mr Kiravu explained yesterday that though returning officers have been empowered to determine and rule on the objections, but the final say is placed on NEC. That is why the law has provided for a chance of appeal to parliamentary and councillorship candidates who will be not satisfied with the decisions by returning officers. And if NEC finds that the appeals have merit, NEC is going to overturn the decisions, said Mr Kiravu. Mr Kiravus explanation means that decisions by returning officers over some of the objections were not final providing for a chance of some of those who have been axed to bounce back in the race. The Election Act of 1985 it clearly states that any candidate who is dissatisfied with the decision of the returning officer on the validity of an objection may, in such manner and within such a period as the commission may prescribe, appeal to the commission and the decision of the commission shall be final and conclusive and shall not be challenged in any court. Mr KIravu said yesterday that NEC has started to receive appeal from contestants who have been axed by returning officers to ensure that justice is done. The law clearly states that at the level of constituency and ward returning officer have mandated to approve objections, Mr Kiravu said. Some of those who have been axed by returning officers were due to their questionable citizenship and the Election Act states that where returning officers decide on any objection under section (4), which deals with citizenship matters, he shall notify the candidate in writing concerning his decision. According to the law, returning officers have a duty of confirming citizenship of the candidates in case of any objections. If they are pleased that the citizenship was questionable, they are allowed to axe the candidate from the race. But a prominent lawyer in Dar es Salaam, Mr Twaha Taslima said any person who is a returning officer or registrar of political parties who claims an aspirant is not a citizen should prove it with evidence. Returning officer should prove that the objected aspirant is not a citizen... he should provide all details and documents to justify the claim, Advocate Taslima said. Mr Masha sailed through unopposed after the Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) legislative post aspirant for Nyamagana constituency, Mr Wenje Dibogo Ezekiel, was disqualified on grounds of citizenship and porovidning wrong information about his designation. Earlier, the Civic United front (CUF) and Jahazi Asilia aspirants for Nyamagana constituency were disqualified for failure to adhere to election rules. CUFs contestant, Mrs Mwendwa Rehema, was disqualified for failing to beat the deadline for returning the forms. While the deadline was set for 4pm last Thursday, she reportedly retuned the forms at 4.05pm. the Jahazi Asilias Mr Muhamad Juma was disqualified for collecting 20 signatures of supporters instead of 25. The injunction against him by Mr Masha was among other things on citizenship and he failed to bring any evidence to prove that he is a Tanzanian, said the returning officer, Mr Wilson Kabwe. According to Mr Kabwe, Wenje did not submit any affidavit, passport, birth or school certificates to prove his citizenship. But Mr Wenje said he was currently in consultations with Chademas Mwanza Region administration and he will later travel to Dar es Salaam to continue consultations with party lawyers on the next course of action. I do not agree with the ruling and we shall appeal, if the appeal doesnt go through I will go to Rorya in Mara region where I come from and tell the people there that the Minister for Home Affairs has taken my citizenship, he said. In Sengerema, two opposition parties legislative contestants were also disqualified following an objection lodged by Mr Ngeleja. The contestants from CUF, Mr Mbaraka Saidi Chilu and Chademas contestant Mr Magafu Salvatory had their candidacy disqualified at the eleventh hour after failing to defend their innocence on allegations lodged against them. Speaking to The Citizen, the constituencys returning officer Ms Erica Msika said CUFs contestant did not fill form number 10 as well as failure to adhere to election code of conduct. Following the mistakes, the aspirant has lost all the qualifications to run as a legislative post aspirant for his party in the constituency, she said. On Chademas contestant, she said his candidacy was dislodged after his referees lacked qualifications. Ms Msika said some of Mr Salvatorys referees have their voter cards not registered in the Permanent Voter Register and for that reason they lose qualifications to endorse a legislative seat contestant. In Singida, Mr Dewji found himself a sole candidate after an objection against his candidacy placed by two other opposition members, was thrown out. In the objection, Mr Omari Sombi of AFP and Josephat Hadu of Chadema asked the returning officer in the constituency, Mr Yona Maki to disqualify Mr Dewji due to acting irregularly and against election regulations. Source: The Citizen My take: Niko tayari ku-commit hara-kiri iwapo NEC hii itaweza kumuondoa mtu kama Masha hata iwapo rufaa ya wagombea wa upinzani itaonekana ina mantiki. Kwanza kabisa huyo mgombea upinzani alisha tupwa nje baada ya rufaa ya Masha dhidi yake kukubaliwa. Mtu ambaye siyo mgombea hawezi kuweka pingamizi au kukata rufaa, labda kwanza awe reinstated katika ugombea.