24 February 2013

Tanzania: Security in Churches Intensified in Isles

Photo: Daily News
Insecurity threatening tourists in the islands (file photo)

POLICE investigating the murder of the Roman Catholic priest, Evarist Mushi, in Zanzibar last Sunday and the attempted murder of another priest, Ambrose Mkenda, last year have announced a 20m/- reward to anyone ready to share information leading to the capture of killer suspects.

The Zanzibar Commissioner of Police, Mussa Ali Mussa, said the amount also include a 5m/- reward on a person who will provide information that will lead to the arrest of suspects involved in the attack of Muslim Cleric Sheikh Mussa Fadhil Soraga with acid, last year.

The late Rev. Mushi was shot dead last Sunday with three bullets hitting him on the head while driving to church for Sunday Mass at Mtoni congregation. Priest Mkenda was shot on the neck and sustained injuries on Christmas Day last December.

"The hunt continues and we want members of the public to help us, instead of blaming the police," said Commissioner Mussa. He said 10m/- will be rewarded to anybody who provides reliable information which may lead us to the arrest of the criminals.

The Commissioner said police have been working hard hunting for the criminals, and also confirming that security at churches has been strengthened. "We are determined to bring the criminals to justice and this is why a substantial reward has been offered to encourage those who have information leading to their arrest to assist us.

The identity of the informant will not be revealed," Commander Mussa assured. He explained that the police force was capable of 'smoking out' the culprits, warning those undermining the ability of the police. "We (police) will make sure that Zanzibar is safe for all.

All churches and the premises around are now under constant surveillance. Uniformed police and detectives have been deployed to maximize security. The community police are working very closely with the police force to maintain peace and stability," he explained.

At the burial of the late Father Mushi, President Jakaya Kikwete sent condolence messages to the Roman Catholic leadership saying the government would conduct serious investigation to identify the suspects and dig deep to find a lasting solution to the challenge.

Zanzibar Presidenr, Dr Ali Mohammed Shein also reaffirmed the government's commitment to improve security in the Isles and 'weed out' bad elements tarnishing the image of Zanzibar. Meanwhile, police in North Unguja have launched a manhunt for men who on Friday afternoon attacked with a knife and killed an elderly named as Ali Khamis (65 years).

According to the North Unguja Regional Police Commander (RPC), Ahmada Khamis, the deceased was found dead in his coconut farm in Kidoti village. "Preliminary investigations revealed that the killers were thieves who entered Ali Khamis's farm with intention to steal coconut and the confrontation resulted into his death.

No arrests have been made in connection with the marder," Commander Khamis explained. A Pathologist at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital, Dr Msafiri Majirani, said that a postmortem outcome indicated that a knife was used against the deceased who died on the way as he was being rushed to hospital for treatment.

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