THE Tanzania police force has pledged maximum security countrywide during the entire process of the general election which will culminate with the October 31 election of new leaders.
According to Commissioner of Police Clodwig Mtweve, the forthcoming general election is a number one priority of the police force for the time being as the law enforcers are involved in the process with a number of other role-players.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) remains to be the main role-player in the electoral process, and it is bound by the law to set regulations that will ensure the election is free and fair.
We are delighted to learn that a good number of security personnel have been recruited in recent months to specifically maintain public order, and to create a favourable climate in which a democratic election can take place.
It is encouraging to hear that the police personnel have been directed to serve all political parties and candidates fairly to ensure peaceful elections. There should also be close supervision of the police personnel to ensure that they steer clear of partisanship during the election.
At the same time, the police must also take proactive and effective measures to prevent or counter any situation or anyone, irrespective of political affiliation, that threatens to disrupt peaceful conduct of the election.
We believe that this will contribute to the levelling of the political playing fields and will effect campaign rallies as well as the casting of votes without intimidation.
However, we would like to remind the police force on the need to train their personnel who will be charged with the duty of overseeing law and order during the electoral process. The law enforcers must be properly informed of what is expected of them, and understand what is entailed in the whole electoral process.
We trust the capacity and commitment of our police force to guarantee a secure and peaceful environment during this election period, as clearly stated by Commissioner Mtweve.
One of the tasks of the police force should be to take various steps to douse tensions and fear which may prevent eligible and willing voters from casting their votes freely.
They must understand that all citizens of this country have the right to a peaceful electoral exercise