15 February 2013

Tanzania: Nchimbi Appeals for Peace in Geita Region

Bukoba — THE Minister for Home Affairs, Dr Emmanuel Nchimbi, has assured Buseresere residents in Geita region that the government will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all those involved in fuelling religious conflicts in the area that left one person dead are brought to justice.

Dr Nchimbi gave the assurances when he visited the area accompanied by Geita Regional Commissioner, Mr Said Magalula. He appealed for peace urging people of different religious faiths to be tolerant with each other.

Skirmishes erupted in Buseresere town on Monday morning leading to the death of one person who was identified as Pastor Mathayo Kachila (45), of the Tanzania Assemblies of God church, who was beheaded by a group of youths believed to be Muslims.

Several people were also injured. Those admitted to Buseresere district hospital were identified as Said Ntahompagaze (45), Sadick Yahaya (40), Yasin Rajab (56), Vicent Damon (22), and another person identified by single name as Ramadhani who remains in critical condition.

A spokesperson of the Geita Regional Commander's Office, Denis Stephano, said the skirmishes started at around 8.00 a.m. on Monday morning after a butcher owner at Buseresere delivered a consignment of meat. Soon after, several youths who were armed with machetes and sticks arrived at the butcher bearing a signpost reading "Bwana Yesu Asifiwe, Yesu ni Bwana" and pulled down the board tearing it into pieces.

They also allegedly spiked over 200 kgs of meat found in the butcher with suspected harmful substance. It was at this juncture that confrontations between Christians and Muslims took momentum. Several shops and motor cycles were set ablaze including a M-Pesa shop owned by the Chato BAKWATA District Chairman, Yusuph Iddi.

The unsuspecting pastor Mathayo Kachila, was caught amid the conflicts and was beheaded on the spot. According to Mr Stephano, two suspects had been arrested, adding that two patients who were injured in the conflict had been transferred to Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) in Mwanza and that the situation has since returned to normal.

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