Kikwete, “I have respect for the law…………...”
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JK’s word on Mbagala violence
Sunday, 14 October 2012 20:46
The Citizen Correspondent
“I have respect for the law…………...”
Dar es Salaam.The President yesterday stressed the essence of respecting law enforcement organs, revealing that at one time he were on the verge of declaring he would hasten to give endorse the effecting of death sentence to convicted albino killers, but was stopped by his advisors who cautioned him that there were ongoing court cases touching on the matter.
Speaking at the climax of the Uhuru Torch race in Shinyanga Region which went in tandem with the 13th anniversary of the death of the Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, President Jakaya Kikwete said during the peak of the killings of albinos in 2010, he had drafted a speech in which he directed the hanging to death of killers of people with albinism.
However, before I read my speech, my aides advised me to retract the directive, saying most of the suspected killers of people with albinism were already in court,” he said.He added: “And since they were ongoing cases against the accused killers I had to delete that part of my speech since I have respect for the law.”
Mr Kikwete was speaking in reference to Friday’s violent clashes in Dar es Salaam’s Mbagala suburb in which scores of Muslim youth burnt and destroyed at least five churches after a 14-year-old boy was reported to have defiled the Quran.
The President said the Muslims had the right to express their annoyance over the incident but they had no right to take the law into their own hands the way they did.
“Since the boy was being held by the police, there was a need to respect the law enforcement organ instead of going ahead to damage churches,” said President Kikwete.On Saturday evening, Mr Kikwete visited the affected Christian worshippers at Mbagala and warned the perpetrators of the Friday mayhem.
Meanwhile, clerics from different churches in Dar es Salaam yesterday appealed to Christians to remain calm and to avoid any acts of vengeance.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) head of Eastern and Coastal Diocese in Temeke District, the Reverend Amani Lyimo, urged worshippers to stop taking any action that would go against the Christian faith.
Stressing that Christianity forbids revenge, he said: “We as Christians believe in God, we won’t fight them or do anything that is against our beliefs; we must remain calm as we wait for government action,” he said.
Rev Lyimo said that the Police Force had arrested some of the perpetrators of the chaos, adding that he was confident legal action would be taken against those who were involved in the chaos and destruction.He called on Tanzanians to avoid religious hatred that could mess up the country as has happened in Nigeria and elsewhere. “I call upon believers to forgive all who were involved, also request President Kikwete to take the necessary actions against all who breach the peace to ensure they are charged according the laws,” said Rev Lyimo.
When The Citizen yesterday visited some of the churches that had been attacked such as ELCT, Anglican Church and Tanzania Assemblies of God (TAG) at Mbagala Kizuiani, Sunday services were being conducted as usual.
However, our reporters observed that Christians at ELCT Mbagala had to conduct their prayers in the open as their church building and furniture had been badly damaged. For his part, the head of Anglican Church at Mbagala Kizuiani, Pastor Emmanuel Mung’ong’o, told this paper that they managed to conduct their prayers despite the massive damage of windows, doors, the altar and other essential religious materials.
“Today we conducted two prayer sessions as usual despite the poor state of our church building. More than 36 windows and doors were smashed; we call upon believers to have faith in God and they should remain calm while the police handles the matter,” said Padre Mung’ong’o.
Violent clashes erupted last week when scores of Muslim youth stormed a police station and demanded that a 14-year-old boy accused of urinating on the Quran be handed over to them. According to the Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police commander Suleiman Kova, at least 122 people have been arrested in connection with Friday’s shameful incident. Of these, he said, 32 are suspected to have vandalised and torched church buildings while the 86 were arrested for illegal demonstration.
At least seven churches were attacked including the Tanzania Assemblies of God (TAG) Mbagala Kizuiani, TAG Shimo la Mchanga, Kizuiani Seventh Day Adventist (SDA), Church of Christ at Rangitatu, Kizuiani Anglian church, Agape at Kibondemaji and Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) at Mbagala Zakhiem
Meanwhile, CCM yesterday condemned the Friday mayhem in Mbagala, noting that the ruling party was against all actions that led to the thoughtless breach of peace.
CCM Ideology and Publicity secretary Nape Nnauye urged people to be tolerant in order to avoid chaos and unnecessary misunderstanding in the society.