Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Dar es Salaam RC Bans 'Muslims' Demos Planned for Thursday

Photo: The Daily News
Zanzibar First Vice-President Seif Shariff Hamad

DAR ES SALAAM Regional Commissioner, Mr Said Meck Sadiki has banned demonstrations which were to be staged on Thursday by people allegedly to be Muslims.

The demo was aimed at forcing the court to grant bail to the Secretary of the Council of Muslims' Organization, Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda who will also appear in court on Thursday.

Speaking to journalists in the city, Mr Sadiki said the demonstrations were illegal because they would intervene the court's freedom, saying the law will follow its course for those who will take part in the demonstrations.

"I have learnt that some people said to be Muslims want to stage demonstrations in Dar es Salaam and Morogoro regions on Friday," said Mr Sadiki who is also the acting Morogoro Regional Commissioner. Mr Sadiki said some people allegedly to be Muslims have been circulating fliers to mobilize Muslims to stage the so called peaceful demonstrations on November 2, and the fliers incite the people to march towards the Prime Minister's offices in Dar es Salaam and to the Regional Commissioners offices countrywide.

He said the Prime Minister could not receive demonstrations organized by unregistered organization, saying they should first register the organization. The Muslims cleric with his 49 followers was brought to Kisutu Resident Magistrates court last month facing five charges.

The State Attorney, Mr Tumaini Kweka, told the court that Sheikh Ponda and his followers are accused of committing conspiracy, trespass and criminal possession of property owned by Agritanza Limited at Chang'ombe in Temeke municipality. Other charges include the stealing of building materials from Agritanza limited including 1,500 bricks and 36 tonnes of aggregate and iron bars, all worth 59.6m/.

The fifth charge was only for Sheikh Ponda in which he was accused of inciting people to commit an offence. Sheikh Ponda and his followers denied all charges which are alleged to have been committed between October 12 and 16, this year. Tumaini Kweka showed a certificate from the Registrar of Courts that others can be bailed out except for Sheikh Ponda on grounds of his safety.

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