News: Religious clashes in Tanzania, problems in governnment
News reports gathered by InformAfrica indicates that Muslims and Christians in Tanzania are in a religious clash. The ongoing religious clashes is blamed on poor governance.
Tanzania’s The Guardian reports the story below:
IPPMedia – Lawyers, political analysts and Human right activists have commented on the ongoing religious related chaos in the country, some saying that it is an indication of problems with governance while others point fingers at laxity by police.
Speaking to The Guardian in separate interviews they said that the government should handle the matter carefully because it threatens the prevailing peace in the country.
Denis Mpagaze, Media Advisor and Mass Communication Research Lecturer at St Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) said the continuation of religious related fracas in the country was an indication of poor governance.
“The public is practically implementing what it has always been calling on the government to do…I can’t believe that the police force couldn’t keep Muslim protestors from attacking and destroying holy buildings,” he said.
Prof Mwesiga Baregu a renowned political scientist and senior lecturer at St Augustine University of Tanzania accused the police of creating loopholes for the riots.
He pointed out that Muslims pressed the police to release people who were arrested for refusing to be counted during the national population census and the police heeded the request without giving any rational explanations.
Prof Baregu said it was astonishing to see a group of people ordering the Police to set their fellows free and the police actually obeying the order.
This implies that people will make this a habit; knowing that they can violate the law in whatever way and the police would set them free once their fellows protested, he said.
He called on the Inspector General of Police to restore the reputation of the Police force so that they regain their trust and respect from the people.
For her part Legal and Human Rights Center Executive Director Hellen Kijo Bi Simba said that police were responsible for educating the people on the procedures of releasing a person who has been detained.
“The police should note this since the first chaos occurred during the national population and housing census,” Bisimba said.
She said if a suspect is arrested it does not mean that he/she is going to be sentenced to jail or killed, rather it is normally for security reasons or to help police in the investigation of an incident or crime.
Addressing the public in Shinyanga at the climax of the Uhuru Torch race and the 13th anniversary of Mwalimu’s Nyerere’s death President Jakaya Kikwete warned that all persons engaging in violation of the law, particularly those causing public fear, will face stern action.
He was referring to the Mbagala fracas where churches were destroyed by an angry mob from the Muslim community following an incident where a 14-year old boy reportedly defiled the Holy Quran.
Kikwete cautioned the public to adhere to the laws of the country and allow them to take their course. He also told Tanzanians to be more tolerant and considerate.