Rufiji — Islamic religious leaders from Mkuranga, Kibiti and Rufiji districts in Coast Region have called upon residents in the districts to cooperate with security and defence organs.
Citizen's cooperation, they said, would bring to fruition the ongoing efforts to track down and bring to book criminals behind the killings of local government leaders and police officers.
The call was made last Friday at the main mosque in Ikwiriri during special prayers for order, security and tranquility in the three districts that have been hit by a spate of killings of local government leaders and law keepers.
Speaking during the special prayers, the chairman of the Islamic Council of Tanzania (Bakwata) in Mkuranga District, Sheikh Mohammed Maulid Katundu, said they, as religious leaders, had been compelled to conduct special prayers to for peace in the districts so that murder incidents should come to an end.
Besides that, he said, they prayed for those who lost their lives, including the police officers who were shot dead in the area of Mkengeni in Kibiti District.
He said wananchi should cooperate with state organs by revealing all suspected criminals for such people act contrary to will of God.
"Keep on cooperating with the state organs by revealing all those suspected to have been involved in the murder of village leaders and police officers since the killers are going against the instructions of Allah the Almighty," he said.
Coast Region's member of Bakwata, Sheikh Ramadhan Mohammed Kinjumbi, speaking shortly after the special prayers, said the escalation of murders in the three districts was a blot against peace and hindrance to implementation of economic activities.
To counter this situation, he said, the community was supposed to pay attention to the directives issued by the government, including heeding to orders issued by the Police Force.
Sheikh Kinjumbi added that the cause of the killings was still a mystery. He said as the police were pursuing the assailants and investigating the incidents, the community should give a hand in efforts to unearth the killers.
Earlier, speaking to reporters on Friday in Dar es Salaam, Police Commissioner for Training and Operations Nsato Marijani said the spate of killings in the districts was not associated with terrorism. He said they were the work of a criminal gang comprising a few people, which had been prevented by police from committing crime.