DAR ES SALAAM
Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania on
Monday restated its denial that the east African nation was
interfering with the Kenyan electoral process towards the polls
on October 8.
Augustine Mahiga, Minister for Foreign
Affairs, East African, Regional and International Co-operation,
said reports by some of the Kenyan media that Tanzania was
interfering with the elections in Kenya were baseless.
"Tanzania has and will never interfere with any foreign
country’s affairs, including the Kenyan elections," Mahiga told
a news conference in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
Recent reports by some of the Kenyan media claimed that
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has set a tallying center
in Tanzania that will ensure that vote counting was not rigged.
Kenyan incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition
chief Raila are in a tight race for the presidency.
The minister added: "We do not understand why this is coming
at this time, but I have to assure our people that Tanzania will
never think of doing such a move to any country."
He said Tanzania will always cherish the relationship that
existed between it and Kenya for many years and that at no time
will it attempt to interfere with its neighbor’s internal
"Tanzanians and Kenyans should understand that the political
temperature in Kenya is, understandably, very high due to the
elections scheduled to take place in August," said Mahiga.
He added: "The rival camps are using every technique in the
playbook to outperform one another but the Tanzanian government
is not siding with any of the two major camps."
Some Kenyan media have reported that Tanzanian President John
Magufuli was supporting Raila, his longtime friend.
But Mahiga said Tanzania respected and believed in the
principles of democracy and good governance and thus there was
no way it could stick its nose into Kenyan internal political
He asked the public to ignore the misleading reports in some
of the Kenyan media saying they were unhealthy for the growth of
democracy and good relations in the region.
commission ready to conduct presidential polls
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s electoral body on Monday said that it is
ready to conduct Aug. 8 general elections which are closely
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioner (IEBC)
Commissioner Roseyln Akombe told a media briefing in Nairobi
that recruitment and training of the 300,000 electoral staff who
will manage the exercise is ongoing as scheduled.
"Given the preparations we have done so far, we are confident
we will deliver free, fair and credible elections that will
reflect the will of the voters," Akombe said.
The East African nation’s general elections will involve over
19 million voters who will choose leaders in over 40,000 polling
The commissioner said that the final voter register has been
completed and will be published in all polling stations one week
before the elections.
IEBC plans to conduct its final test on the Kenya Integrated
Elections Management System on July 31.
"The exercise will test the technology that will be used on
voter identification and transmission of results," she said.
The electoral body noted that its previous tests have
indicated that the biometric voter identification has 98 percent
"Only less than two percent of the voters will be identified
through manual processes," she added.
The electoral body has begun discussions with mobile telecoms
to assist in the electronic transmission of the results.
However, in areas with no network coverage the polling body
will use satellite phones for communication.
Akombe said that printing of the voting material that is
being done outside the country will soon be completed.
"We expect the ballot papers will have arrived in the country
by the Aug. 3rd so that we begin the countrywide distribution of
the voting material as soon as possible," she said.