24 February 2013

Tanzania: Five Arraigned to Answer Charges of Murder, Breach of Peace

Bukoba — FIVE people, including a pastor of the African Inland Church were on Wednesday arraigned before Chato District Magistrate's Court, in Geita region to answer various charges including murder and a breach of peace.

Prosecuting Assistant Inspector of Police, Rashid Mkwasi alleged before Senior Primary Court Magistrate Michael Gimeo, that the accused committed the offences on February 11, this year. Those arraigned in court were identified as pastor Sylivanus Dome (42) of the AICT church.

He is charged with slaughtering two cows without permission from the Livestock department. Others are Sadiq Yahya (40), a resident of Buseresere town who is charged with murder of the late pastor Mathayo Kachila (45), of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Tanzania (PAGAT) church, believed to have been beheaded by a group of Muslim youth.

Others are Ibrahim Hussein (22), Hassan Makoye (32) and Masoud Athuman (40), all from Buseresere area. They are jointly charged with maliciously damaging properties worth 6m/- including two motorcycles and setting a shop on fire. According to Inspector Mkwasi, the five, together with other people not before the court, on February 11, this year disrupted peace leading to the death of one person while several others were injured.

Sadiq Yahya who faces a murder charge was not asked to enter any plea as his case would be referred to the High Court. The other accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. Magistrate Gimeo ordered them to be remanded in custody until March 8, this year when the case will be mentioned again.

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 is in critical condition at Ward No 8. Conflicts had been simmering for quite a long time ranging from Sengerema district, in Mwanza region and Sengerema district, in Geita region where a section of Moslem leaders had demanded immediate closure of butchers owned by Christians.

The skirmishes started at around 8.00 a.m. on the morning of February 11, this year after a butcher owner at Buseresere delivered a consignment of meat. Thereafter, several youths who were armed with machetes and sticks arrived at the butcher bearing signpost reading "Bwana Yesu Asifiwe, Yesu ni Bwana" and pulled down the signboard tearing it into pieces.

They also allegedly poured a certain deadly substance over 200 kgs of meat hanging in the butcher. It was at this juncture that confrontations between Christians and Muslims gained momentum. Several shops and motor cycles were set ablaze including a M-Pesa shop owned by the Chato BAKWATA District Chairman, Yusuph Iddi. Pastor Mathayo Kachila, was roughed up and beheaded on the spot.

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