Arch-Bishop Zachary Kakobe of the Full Gospel Bible Fellowship (picture above in blue t-shirt) stressing the point of protesting Political Elections in Tanzania to be held on Sundays. (picture by Jamii Forum courtesy)
Christians of Full Gospel Bible Fellowship at Mwenge (picture above) in Dar es Salaam, wearing a sandwich t-shrt to protest Political Elections in Tanzania not to be held on Sundays. The words on the t-shirt means: "No Election on Sundays."(picture by Jamiiforum courtesy)
Tanzania, constitutionally, is a democratic secular state. Her constitution guarantees freedom of worship in the diversity of beliefs.
However, the schedule of political elections set on Sundays, affects the Christians community to fully participate in this important constitutional right.
Christians who are non- Adventists in Tanzania, are yearning to see the change of the day, because, they are always in the dilemma to opt which decision they should take: attend to the church or attend the ballot station. Many opt to attend the church and loose their right to vote. Time for voting set by the National Electoral Commission is from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. This time does not allow Christian voters to participate in the democratic elections, hence affects the attendance of voters.
For example, on 14th December, 2014 many adherents of the Full Gospel Bible Fellowship-FGBF, at Mwenge in Dar es Salaam under Bishop Zakary Kakobe, did not participate in the election due to the above mentioned reasons.The same happened to many Christians in other areas of the country.
Bishop Zakary Kakobe suggested that the day of elections should change in Tanzania sighting the experience from other neighboring countries, where elections are held on official days and not on religious days like Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
He mentioned some countries with the date of elections as follows:
Uganda: 18th February,2011-Monday
Kenya: 4th March 2013- Monday
Rwanda: 9th August,2014-Monday
Burundi: 28th July, 2014- Wednesday
Malawi: 20th May, 2014- Tuesday
Zimbabwe: 31 th July, 2013- Wednesday
South Africa: 7th May, 2014- Wednesday
Mozambique: 15th October, 2014-Wednesday
Zambia: 20th January, 2015-Tuesday
Prior to Bishop Zakary Kakobe, the Tanzania Christian Forum-T.C.F's meeting in 2014, suggested to the National Electoral Commission to address the issue and change the schedule day of political elections.
The T.C.F comprises of the Tanzania Episcopal Council-T.E.C (Catholic), Christian Council of Tanzania-C.C.T (Evangelicals), The Council of the Pentecostal Churches in Tanzania- CPCT, and The Seventh Day Adventist Church in Tanzania-S.D.A.
The government of the United Republic of Tanzania through the National Electoral Commission, is urged to change the election day to allow the Christians in Tanzanian to exercise this constitutional right, hence promote democracy.
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Posted by Daniel Mwankemwa on 2:01 AM