Minister for Labour and Employment, Mrs Gaudentia Kabaka

Minister for Labour and Employment, Mrs Gaudentia Kabaka

The ticked ballot papers prompted suspension of the voting in Tarime Rural and Tarime Urban constituencies.

?This is a planned move meant to eliminate us from the nomination race and there is huge influence from inside and outside the party aimed to favour opposition candidates during the coming general election,? Mr Nyangwine who seeks re-election for Musoma Rural parliamentary seat told a press conference here.

He admitted that he was interrogated by the anti-graft bureau (PCCB) officials in Tarime about the matter on Saturday, but insisted that he knew nothing about ballot papers alleged to have been voted.

? I have even told the PCCB to establish if those were genuine ballot papers and we want the election to be free and fair,? he said.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) divided the former Tarime constituency into two ? Tarime Urban and Rural. On her part, Minister Kabaka who contests for the Tarime Urban constituency said she was shocked and saddened with the reports.

She blamed Tarime District CCM Chairman, Mr Rashid Bogomba, for issuing a statement to the media linking her and Mr Nyangwine with voted ballot papers without verifying whether the report was authentic.

?I don?t know anything about the said ballot papers and if many boxes were caught why don?t they bring them so that we can all see them instead of rushing to the media without even listening or involving us .

Their intention is to see us out of the race,? she complained. Ms Kabaka claimed that there is a hidden agenda about the scandal. ? This is a dirty game by supporters of our opponents to destroy us.

This is something bad undermining the credibility of the whole process,? she said. The Tarime District CCM Chairman, Mr Bogomba said the CCM preferential polls in Tarime Rural and Urban constituencies were suspended after several thousands of ballot papers were found already voted in favour of some candidates, including Mr Nyangwine and Ms Kabaka. ?The polls have been postponed until Tuesday.

Many ticked ballot papers have this morning been confiscated. We want each ballot paper to be ticked by one person not one person ticking hundreds of ballot papers,? Bogomba told CCM members when announcing the decision at the party?s office on Saturday.

Police officers were deployed at the district CCM office to prevent violence.

Meanwhile, Tarime District CCM Secretary, Mr Barnabas Nyerembe, was picked by PCCB officials from his office under tight security for questioning in connection with the incident.

The election was scheduled to be held yesterday but reports from the Tarime District CCM office said ballot papers were yet to be distributed to polling stations.

By MUGINI JACOB, Tanzania Daily News

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