Tanzania Election: Internet Restricted As Millions Of People Vote In The General Election

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Sites, including WhatsApp and Twitter, are being restricted in Tanzania as millions of people vote in the general election.

Tanzania Election: Internet Restricted As Millions Of People Vote In The General Election

There have also been reports of violence and that police arrested an opposition leader in the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar.

Voters have until 16:00 local time (13:00 GMT) to cast their ballots.

President John Magufuli, whose party has governed Tanzania for decades, is seeking a second term in office.

His main challenger is expected to be Tundu Lissu of the biggest opposition party, Chadema, who survived an assassination attempt three years ago. He returned from Belgium in July where he had undergone rounds of treatment for gunshot wounds.

In all, 15 candidates are running for president – including former foreign minister Bernard Membe, an ex-colleague-turned-critic of Mr Magufuli who defected from the ruling party.

Tanzania Election: Internet Restricted As Millions Of People Vote In The General Election

Results for the presidential and parliamentary elections are expected to be announced within one week.

Internet Restriction

Twitter warned on Tuesday it was “seeing some blocking and throttling” of its services in Tanzania ahead of Wednesday’s polls, and appealed for the respect of “basic human rights”.

Internet users across the country have also reported difficulties when trying to download photos or videos on the hugely popular messaging platform WhatsApp, according to internet block observers Net Blocks and ProtonVPN.

To get round the internet block, people can use a virtual private network (VPN) but one such VPN has said that people’s efforts to sign up are being thwarted as text message verification is also being blocked.

Tanzanian authorities have not addressed the apparent internet restrictions, and the country’s regulatory body has not responded to any request for comment.

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Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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