PIUS KATUNZI: Kikwete's victory leaves foul taste in the mouth Sunday, 07 November 2010 President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete has survived the repudiation of his countrymen, but, in a way, he has been humiliated and punished. The man who won his first term at State House in 2005 with 80% of the votes cast, has this time crawled back to power with 61%. Even that figure is still doubted. Much of it is thought to be the work of the wobbly National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the sneaky skills of the Tanzania Intelligence and Security Services (TISS). TISS' Deputy Director, Jacky Mgenda Zoka, has since denied fiddling with the votes. But he has not attempted to answer why for the last 49 years it was only this time round that his organisation was dragged into this sinister plot of stealing votes for the incumbent. But TISS had to get involved. They owe something to Kikwete. He used to work for the intelligence services. He also appoints its leaders and many of them have had their fingers soiled in corruption. The only man who could assure them of their security of tenure was Kikwete. If Dr Wilbroad Slaa, of CHADEMA had become President, he would have uprooted the rotten apples and locked up some. Out of the 20 million registered voters, only 8.3 million people were able to participate in this civic duty. Those who didn't die, fall sick, or deliberately keep away for lack of faith in the electoral process, did not find their names in the voters' registers. What was on the displayed lists of voters did not rhyme with what was in the registers on polling day. The voters held voters' cards but their names were missing in the registers. In one of the constituencies, Kawe in Dar es Salaam, even the incumbent opposition MP, James Mbatia's names were missing. This kind of glitches set in motion conspiracy theories. The voters believed the intelligence had information on who the residents favoured in a particular polling station. Where it was discovered that the majority of the voters backed the opposition, especially CHADEMA, the names of those suspected voters were kept on the displayed lists but removed from the registers and therefore denied the right to vote. Except for the incumbent MPs and candidates who were given special forms, and therefore allowed to vote, the rest of the voters whose names were missing were just turned away. The question then is why was this opportunity of filling a special form availed only to MPs and candidates? If it was envisaged that such a hiccup would occur, the forms should not have been exclusive to candidates but for whoever possessed a card and could be verified by the residents. While casting the votes ended at 4pm on Sunday October 31, the people were advised to leave the polling station, return to their homes and wait for the NEC to announce the results. By law, it is only NEC which is supposed to announce the results. Worst still, the results were not posted at individual polling stations. If this had been done, it would have taken a daredevil official to changes them at NEC headquarters where tallying was done in the absence of observers. The country lingered in political anxiety Monday with NEC remaining silent on the results, only releasing those from scattered constituencies where even the incumbent was doing fine, raising additional suspicion that intelligence and NEC were trying to fix the votes for Kikwete. For once, Kikwete seemed like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe whose electoral commission took forever to announce the results in 2008. It has taken NEC five days to come out with results, which declared Kikwete victor. CHADEMA has refused to recognise the results and they are lining up their lawyers to file a petition in court. Kikwete, who was more popular than his predecessor, Benjamin Mkapa, had to be punished and his victory almost spells doom for the future of CCM. CCM may disappear like Kenya's KANU which was buried by President Moi. The workers who used to form the bulk of its support no longer stand by it. For in their eyes it has ceased being a party that represents them. It now represents the rich and doggy investors. Kikwete fell out with workers when he answered workers' demand for the minimum wage of TShs 315,400 ($219) with threats of dismissals and imprisonment. He told them that some of them would go to the negotiating table with bandages wrapped around their faces. Kikwete's arrogance had reached dizzying heights. He hobnobbed with those who still had corruption cases in court and promoted them as clean people. For all intents and purposes, Kikwete was mocking Tanzanians. It's like he was saying, "you vote; I decide to remain in power"! But the future of CCM as the dominant party hangs in balance. The author is the Business Development Director of The Observer Media Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org Source: The Observer - PIUS KATUNZI: Kikwete Haya jamani, waandishi wa Tanzania mko wapi? Mnashindwa kuwa na ujasiri na kusema wazi kuwa Kikwete aliiba kura na ushindi wake ni batili mpaka msaidiwe na majirani zetu wa Uganda? Ni uoga, kukosa ujasiri au mmepewa chochote kitu mkae kimya? Sasa hivi waandishi wa Bongo wamesha sahau scandal kubwa ya wizi wa kura na badala yake wako bize kudakia mbio za uspika, waziri mkuu mpya, baraza la mawaziri, etc.