Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

12 February 2013

Tanzania: TAG Pastor Beheaded in Religious Skirmishes

Photo: IRIN
Religious linked violence in Geita, Tanzania (file photo).

Bukoba — A PASTOR with the Tanzania Assemblies of God (TAG) Church at Buseresere has been beheaded during religious-linked conflicts at Buseresere town, in Geita Region.

A spokesperson for the Geita Regional Police Commander's Office, Mr Denis Stephano, identified the deceased pastor as Mathayo Kachili.

He said conflicts had been boiling for quite a while now in the area where a section of what are believed to be Muslim leaders had demanded immediate closure of butcheries owned by Christians.

He said that a group of youths believed to be Muslims assaulted several Christians using sticks and machetes and attacked a butchery owner at Buseresere town. During the confrontations pastor Kachili was beheaded.

According to Mr Stephano, several people are believed to have been injured, some in critical condition and were admitted to Buseresere hospital to receive treatment. He said the Chato District Commissioner (DC), Mr Rodrick Mpogolo, visited the scene and called for calm and religious tolerance among believers of the two faiths.

He said that members of the riot police dispersed the unruly crowd, noting that the situation has now returned to normal. He said the body of pastor Kachili is preserved at the Buseresere hospital mortuary. This is the first incident in the Lake Zone whereby Muslims and Christians confronted each other leading to bloodshed.

Last year, the Minister of State (President's Office), Mr Stephen Wassira, visited the area and called for tolerance between the two religions.

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