Tanzania: Dar may allow overseas voters

tanzania_pm_mizengo_pindaTanzanians living abroad may start voting in next years general elections, it has been learnt. The Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda (pictured), said here on Wednesday that the government was working on modalities to facilitate the move following sustained pleas from overseas-based Tanzanians.

Relevant authorities are currently working on the matter to see how best it could be undertaken, said the premier during talks with Tanzanians living in Kenya, held at Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi.

They asked the government to facilitate their participation in the 2010 General Election, having made a similar call in 2005. Mr Pinda assured them that the government was taking their request seriously, noting that he had received similar appeals from Tanzanians living in the UK earlier this year.

He said he had forwarded the requests to relevant authorities within the ruling party, CCM for action. Some Tanzanians also appealed to the government to build more boarding schools that would accommodate students from all over the country, instead of concentrating on ward secondary schools.

“Ward secondary schools are good, but do not expand horizons of students who are mostly enrolled from villages within a particular area. These students may grow up without the spirit of nationalism,” one Tanzanian argued.

Reading the message on behalf of Tanzanians, Ms Slyvia Bankobeza said the construction of the schools was denying the students the opportunity to leave their regions and mix with others to learn new things. “They are left to grow up and live in the same environment throughout their lives,” she noted.

“To address this situation, we urge the government to construct more boarding schools so that students from different regions can get the opportunity to study there,” she said. Issues of land, identity cards, passports in the East Africa community (EAC), were also raised during the meeting attended by over 200 Tanzanians.

On the issue of land and identity cards, Premier Pinda assured them that the ministries responsible were working out various solutions to problems raised. The PM yesterday visited the Nairobi Stock Exchange and later met President Mwai Kibaki. He also visited co-operative farmers and livestock keepers’ society of Limuru and the Karen flower area.

Daily News

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