Brutal violence broke out against civilians on election day in Tanzania. Attackers have killed at least seven people and abducted an unknown number of women. Please pray for Tanzanian believers during this time of unrest.
On Wednesday 28 October, Tanzania went to the polls, and President John Magufuli walked away as the overwhelming winner. However, the elections were marred by irregularities, and violence against civilians broke out on election day.
Please pray for God's peace to reign in Tanzania
Attackers killed at least seven people, set fire to several buildings and abducted an unknown number of women. Initial reports indicate that victims were asked about their religion and that Muslims were spared.
Ruvumba, where the violence broke out, is situated near the border with Mozambique, where Islamic insurgents have wreaked havoc throughout this year. Observers say the Mozambican insurgents are connected to radical Islamic cells across East Africa, including some in Tanzania.
The attack brings even more controversy to an election wrought with irregularities. Alleged ballot box-stuffing and a massive internet slowdown are just a few of the issues that have plagued this election. On the eve of the vote, at least 10 people in Zanzibar were killed.
Even before President John Magufuli was declared the overwhelming winner late Friday, opposition figures called for protests against alleged election fraud.
“The ruling party’s victory in almost all parliament seats has shocked even critics who had warned of creeping repression under Magufuli’s first five years in power,” reported the AP, explaining that the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party now has enough seats to change the constitution to extend the presidency’s two-term limit.
In response to the election results, the United States said: “Irregularities and the overwhelming margins of victory raise serious doubts about the credibility of the results announced.” They also noted credible reports of ‘the use of force against unarmed civilians’.
But Tanzania’s electoral commission has called all the votes legitimate.
Please pray for Tanzania, and particularly for the church there, that God would make them a light in the darkness.
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