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Message-Id: <199512111340.IAA11409@piranha.acns.nwu.edu>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 95 08:38:39 EST
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From: Holly Hanson <HHANSON@nervm.nerdc.ufl.edu>

Independent monitor's account of Tanzanian elections

Discussion on nuafrica list, 11 December 1995

I thought people might be interested in the perceptions of the Tanzanian elections of Rwekaza Mukandala, chair of the University of Dar Dept. of Political Science, who also chaired TEMCO, the Tanzanian independent election monitoring team.

When Professor Mukandala spoke at the University of Florida last week, he stated that he thought the elections were both bungled and sabotaged. First, he provided circumstantial evidence of deliberate sabotage, those regions with the greatest problems with ballots, etc., were the areas where the opposition parties might have been anticipated to succeed, for example, Arusha and Mbeya. Above and beyond such premeditated interference, there was the problem of incompetence. By putting the election in the hands of people who did not have experience conducting previous single-party CCM elections, Tanzanians' collective experience of holding elections was not utilized. It had been hoped that Tanzania could construct an electoral system from scratch which was untainted by either CCM or the state. Prof. Mukandala explained that in retrospect this may have been a mistake since it was clear that most election officials were unclear about their duties.

My notes of some vivid images of the election process are followed by those of Peter Rogers, a poli sci grad student here at UF, on what Professor Mukandala had to say about Tanzanian electoral politics.

"The problem of money did not go away".

As Professor Mukandala drove from the University down into town on the morning of the elections, he could see long lines of voters forming, but polling stations did not appear to be open. When he reached election headquarters he found a crowd and a scuffle, people shouting, pushing each other around, and ballot boxes and papers on the ground. The fight was about allowances. Election officials wanted to be paid before they would take the materials and open the polling stations. Eventually, the police had to be called in to restore order.

Transporting ballot boxes and materials was also a problem: neutral vehicles to get everything to where it needed to be in Dar at the right moment on election morning were not available in sufficient numbers. Therefore, ballot boxes were being transported by motorcycle, on the head, on the back like water cans, by private vehicle, and by CCM vehicles. The arrival of ballot boxes and materials by what people thought were inappropriate means was one source of tension and led to scuffles at polling places.

There was a serious lack of ballots, indelible ink, papers to report the results of the counting at polling stations, etc; although the person in charge of ordering materials has insisted in the media, that the amount prepared was 5% more than what was calculated to be necessary. The chair of the official Tanzanian National Election Commission has apparently requested that this problem be investigated as a criminal matter. Professor Mukandala told of visiting the polling station located at the main army barracks in Dar es Salaam at about 4 in the afternoon. The commander of the Tanzanian Armed Forces had been waiting to vote since early morning, but there were no ballots at the polling station. He kept saying "this is most unfortunate". He had sent his official vehicle to find ballots, but his Adjutant in the official vehicle had been unable to obtain any.

Although counting of ballots did occur at polling stations, the form for reporting the results of the count was missing at some polling stations, so people used what paper they could find; elsewhere, misrepresentations were made easier because the page on which officials and observers were to sign was a second page from the page on which the results were written. And, as Professor Mukandala observed, "once the votes had been counted at polling stations, suddenly addition became somehow very difficult."

An elaborate plan for gathering ballot boxes after voting, transporting and keeping them under guard, was derailed when some election clerks refused to surrender ballot boxes until they were paid. Some eleection officials apparently took ballot boxes home, holding them hostage until they got their allowance.

Training of election officials happened at the last minute: Professor Mukandala had heard that trainees sat outside in the sun while their training was taking place nearby, discussing what they ought to be paid and what they would do with their money. During the election itself, he said election officers often had to ask independent monitors to assist them in properly conducting the election and to explain what their duties were.

Prof. Mukandala also discussed in some detail the seperate and far more troubling case of Zanzibar. It is clear that Zanzibari CCM stole the presidential election there, and probably did it with at least the tacit approval of the mainland leaders of the CCM. He made clear that voting patterns in this election were almost identical to those found in the 1963 election which preceded the 1964 revolution. Apparently the depth of hostility between people from the islands of Pemba and Unguja is very great.

Many Pemba migrants living on Unguja have fled back to Pemba since the election, either forced out or in fear of future trouble. Prof. Mukandala related his own feelings of apprehension upon finding himself siting in the offices of CUF, the opposition party on Zanzibar, on a highly charged election day and suddently realizing he was the only one in the room with his back to the door.

In closing, it would seem that while the electoral mishaps on the Tanzanian mainland were, to use the word of the aforementioned general, "unfortunate," the situation on Zanzibar is potentially far more dangerous. Pres. Mkapa on the mainland does have a chance to carry out the anti-corruption and reform policies he promised during the election and which seem to have guided at least a portion of his cabinet selections. If he is successful in this area, then Mkapa may be able to rise above the dubious election which secured his position. However, there is probably little chance of such a post-election reconciliation in Zanzibar.

Holly Hanson Hhanson@nervm.nerdc.ufl.edu
Peter Rogers Progers@africa.ufl.edu

Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.951211101841.10659A-100000@ellis.uchicago.edu>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 10:28:21 -0600 (CST)
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From: Mikael Karlstrom <mkarlstr@midway.uchicago.edu> Subject: Re: independent monitor's account of Tanzanian elections

Just as a follow-up to Holly's post: a Ugandan friend of mine participated in election monitoring in Tanzania with the Washington-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems. She reported that in the area she monitored on the mainland, Mpaka's home district, logistics were handled excellently; predictably, the problems with transport, ballots, counting, etc. were all in areas known to be likely to vote against the ruling party. She also said that in Zanzibar, while the vote itself was free and fair (and extremely enthusiastic, peaceful, and with high turnout), the monitoring teams made the mistake of declaring the election valid *before* the vote count was announced. She also is convinced that the count was fraudulent. What astonished me about her account is that despite all of this evidence, IFES was unwilling to condemn the elections. This leads me to wonder what is the purpose of external elections monitorin. If they really just function as rubber stamps, regardless of the conduct of an election, then they are doing more harm than good. Indeed, there has been remarkably little criticism in the US press of the Tanzanian elections that I have seen, and this is probably due in part to the fact that internal protests have not been backed up by criticism from external monitors. Does anyone have any insights into this issue?

Mikael Karlstrom