Tanzanian Prelate Cautions Clerics against Partiality in Ongoing Political Campaigns

Tanzania is expected to hold General Election on October 28 to elect the President, Members of Parliament and councillors.

A Bishop in Tanzania has cautioned Clerics in the East African country against partiality in the ongoing political campaigns ahead of the general elections slated to take place October 28.

Speaking at a one-day peace workshop for Clerics, Nuns and the Lay faithful in his Diocese on Thursday, October 8, Bishop Edward Elias Mapunda of Tanzania’s Singida Diocese said that demonstrating support for particular political parties will be a cause for division of the people og God on the basis of political affiliations.

“You Priests should not cause trouble in our Parishes by promoting certain political parties because you are supporters of the parties,” Bishop Mapunda said. 

The Bishop explained, “We lead many people and if we, Priests, divide the people by promoting the political parties that we support, we will divide the Christians.” 

“If you choose to publicly support one political party over another, you will cause trouble after the election because Christians will always refer to their Priests as supporters of specific political parties,” the Tanzanian Bishop further explained. 


Instead of engaging in divisive politics, the Prelate implored that Church leaders cultivate a culture of peaceful co-existence.

“Our responsibility is to pray and ask God for peace to continue reigning in Tanzania,” the Local Ordinary of Singida Diocese said adding that Clerics should also encourage Tanzanians to participate in the polls. 

In the poll expected to take place October 28, eligible Tanzanian voters will be electing the President, Members of Parliament, and Councilors.

The incumbent, President John Magufuli, has 14 challengers in the presidential race, with analysts saying a divided opposition is likely to ensure he wins a second term, according to a report

However, President Magufuli is likely to faces a tough challenge from opposition leader, Tundu Lissu, who returned to Tanzania last month after spending nearly three years in Belgium for treatment. According to some media reports, he was shot 16 times in an assassination attempt.

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In the last election in 2015, Tanzania’s opposition parties gained more votes from alliances that seem a mirage in the forthcoming elections.

In his October 8 address, Bishop Mapunda urged the members of Clergy to be instruments of peace in their respective missions saying, “If you observe hatred caused by politics in your parishes, educate the people about peace. If you encourage hatred caused by politics, the Christians will continue hating each other even after the elections.”

The 56-year-old Tanzanian Bishop encouraged the Lay faithful to “listen to the candidates vying for various positions.”

By listening to the candidates, Bishop Mapunda said, “you will be aware of the policies of the different political parties and you will be able to make independent choices.”  

He encouraged eligible voters to elect leaders who not only bring development but also help them grow spiritually.


Addressing politicians, the Church leader said, “All the leaders who are campaigning should do so peacefully. We need our lives and peace to continue after the election.”

“Let us rely on the Power of God so that we can cross safely in this election period,” Bishop Mapunda said. 

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.