Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

1 February 2013

Tanzania: 'Cleric Attacks in Zanzibar Not Religiously Motivated'

Photo: Tanzania Daily News
Aftermath (file photo): Religious leaders attacked in zanzibar.

Dodoma — PRELIMINARY investigations indicate that incidents of recent attacks against faith-based leaders in Zanzibar are not religiously motivated, the National Assembly was told.

The Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Pereira Silima said in Dodoma that attacks were the work of criminals who had sinister and personal motives.

Mr Silima was responding to a basic question by Mr Sylvester Mabunga (CUFDole). In his response, the Deputy Minister said that following such incidents, the police force bolstered security by increasing patrols in various parts in the Isles.

Recently, two religious clerics were attacked in Zanzibar with the Secretary to the Zanzibar Chief Sheikh (Mufti), Sheikh Fadhili Soraga sustaining serious injuries, after he was smeared with acid by assailants, while a catholic priest, Father Ambrose Mkenda was shot, thus sustaining some injuries.

According to Mr Silima, the police in Zanzibar are looking for more suspects involved in the two attacks, while efforts are going on to sensitise the public to reveal those responsible in the distressing acts. He said that hitherto five people have been arrested, three for complicity in the acid attack against Sheikh Soraga while two are being held for their involvement in shooting Father Mkenda.

Responding to a supplementary question by Mr Mabunga, the Deputy Minister also hinted that it has come to their attention that there is a need to educate the public on the importance of maintaining peace and order and the dangers involved once the country plunges into chaos.

He also said that they are investigating organisations registered in country which have been repeatedly linked to acts of violence to establish if they are being financed by foreign elements and for what purpose. "Deregistering such organizations will be among the actions taken against them while individuals will face the law," he said.

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InFocus

Zanzibar Attacks Not About Religion - Govt

Aftermath (file photo): Religious leaders attacked in zanzibar.

According to deputy minister for home affairs, investigations carried out into the attacks on cleric leaders in Zanzibar determined they were not motivated by religion. Read more »