22 February 2018

Tanzania: Clerics Condemn Abductions and Killings of Civilians

Mwanza — Religious leaders in Mwanza Region have called on the government to ensure people and their properties are safe.

This comes following increased incidents of abductions, killings and similar incidents that threaten the peace and security of the people. The clerics cited examples of politicians, journalists and artists who were abducted and some have their whereabouts not known.

Briefing reporters in Mwanza yesterday, a cross section of religious leaders expressed concerns over the claimed abduction of Mwananchi Communications Limited correspondent Azory Gwanda over three months ago, and the killing of a politician in Kinondoni District ahead of last week's by-election saying all these tarnished the nation's image.

Reading the civic society leaders' communiqué on the State of Civilians' Security, Human Rights and Rule of Law in Mwanza, Nyakato-Mecco Masjidul Wahada Imam, Sheikh Mohammed Hassan, said it was the responsibilities of the government to protect people from abductions and similar incidents.

"The government must intervene to end these incidents because they threaten the peace, violate people's rights and create a bad image for the country, which for years has been considered a haven of peace," he said.

The chairman of Unity in Diversity Foundation, Bishop Stephen Genga, condemned the killing of National Institute of Transport student Akwilina Akwilini calling for all Tanzanians to continue condemning such incidents.

"It is important for our leaders to condemn and take action against such incidents because they are against religious teaching and violates the basic human rights," he said.

Another civil societies leader Mr.Edwin Soko said the nation is currently passing through difficult moment which include enacted draconian laws that prohibit people to exercise their rights of freedom of expression.

"This is the time when media organisations are being attacked, fined and journalists are intimidated on duty," he said.

Mr Soko who is also a media professional said some of the statemachineries including police have failed to exercise their obligations without fear or favour.

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