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Only female candidate in Tanzania poll has soft spot for children, refugees

By Rawlings Otieno | October 26th 2015
Anna Elisha Mghwira

Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT) presidential candidate Anna Elisha Mghwira, the only female candidate in Tanzania's General Election, was born in 1959.

Ms Mghwira enrolled for her primary education in 1968 and finished in 1974 at Nyerere Road Primary School, before continuing with her secondary education at Ihanja Technical School from 1975 to 1978.

She later joined Lutheran Junior Seminary where she completed her advanced level education.

Mghwira then joined Tumaini University where she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Theology.

After her graduation, she immediately joined the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) for a degree in law.

Mghwira went to the United Kingdom (UK) to pursue a Master's degree in Law (LLM) in 1999 at the University of Essex. She graduated in 2000.

Mghwira got married to the late Shedrack Maghwiya in 1982 and they were blessed with three boys - Fadjhili, Peter and Elisha.

Besides being a lawyer and a theologian, she has also been a development worker for a long time and has gained experience in the operation of local government, international organisations, religious institutions and issues involving women, children, refugees, administrative and human rights.

Youth League

She has a long history of interest in politics, society and development and this has been interviewed in magazine and newspaper articles.

Mghwira joined politics as a member of the Tanzania National Union (Tanu) Youth League and with her participation she managed to win numerous awards. After the birth of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), her involvement became minimal as she spent much of her time on her studies, married life and bringing up her children.

Having been backstage for a long time, in 2009 she joined the Opposition's Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo and managed to hold various positions such as the chairperson of the Women's Council at district level and secretary of the council at regional level.

She officially joined ACT – Wazalendo in March this year and was elected the party's chairperson at the first general assembly.

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