A Tanzanian magistrate's court on Monday (February 18th) charged 54 followers of Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda with unlawful assembly, conspiracy, rioting and incitement, Tanzania's Daily News reported.
All 54 suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges, levied in relation to a demonstration on February 15th. Resident Magistrate Sudi Fimbo denied all of them bail for security reasons.
Ponda and 49 of his supporters are undergoing trial for conspiracy and incitement charges related to their occupation of a private plot of land owned by Agritanza Limited.
Ponda is the secretary general of Council of Islamic Organisation.