Rev. Canon Moses Matonya was born on September 25, 1964 in Ikowa village in Dodoma Tanzania, being the third born out of five children of Rosemary. His father, Matonya Makunzo, passed away in 2006 leaving three wives and nineteen children. Rev. Moses has been a full time ordained minister with the Anglican Diocese of Central Tanganyika in Dodoma since November 1993. He is married to Ruth and they are blessed with five children, three daughters and two sons. Currently, he is doing a Ph.D at Liverpool Hope University.
His journey on formal education began in January 1974. He did the seven years of primary education at Ikowa Primary School. From January 1981 to July 1985 he went through Mzumbe Secondary School in Morogoro and Umbwe High School in Moshi, Tanzania while from June 1987 to June 1988 he served in the National Service.
From June 1988 to 1991, Rev. Can. Matonya worked as an Evangelist in his village. In January 1991 he joined a three year theological course, leading to a Diploma, at St. Philip’s College, Kongwa. He was ordained deacon by Anglican Diocese of Central Tanganyika on December 5, 1993. After the ordination, he was posted to a full-time ministry as vicar of Kigwe Parish. On May 22, 1994 he was consecrated as priest before being transferred to Kondoa where he became a principal of the Bible School in July 1995.
In September 1996 he joined a two-year programme at the Trinity College in Bristol, England, for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology. In August 1998, he returned to the Diocese of Central Tanganyika, where he was appointed Principal of Msalato Theological College.
In September 2001 he once again went to England to pursue a Master of Arts course in Aspects of Christian Missiology at All Nations Christian College, which he successfully completed in September 2002. After the studies he went back to Msalato Theological College where he continued to work as a Principal.
In March 2004 he became Dean of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit until July, 2006. In September 2006 he went to Columbus Georgia (USA) for a twelve months study in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). He also served as Chaplain Resident at St Francis Hospital in Columbus during the same period. The programme ended in September 2007 and he returned to Tanzania. He rejoined Msalato Theological College, where he taught and worked as a principal until July 2015.
Before joining CCT, in March 2017, he worked as a full time Assistant Lecturer at St John’s University of Tanzania in the School of Theology and Religious studies (SOTR), while doing a Ph.D. on part time basis with Liverpool Hope University in Liverpool, UK.
- Vocational History
Since becoming ordained in 1993, Rev. Can. Moses Matonya has held the following positions in the Diocese of Central Tanganyika:
- Pastor (rector) of Kigwe Anglican Parish, from December 1993 to July 1995.
- Principal of Kondoa Bible School in Kondoa town, from July 1995 to July 1996.
- Principal of Msalato Theological College in Dodoma, from August 1998 to August 2001 and from September 2001 to March 2004.
- Dean of Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in the Anglican Diocese of Central Tanganyika for two years, from March 2004 to July 2006. He was also an
associate lecturer of Msalato Theological College during this period.
- Principal of Msalato Theological College (second time) from June 2008 to July 2015.
- Assistant Lecturer in the School of Theology of St John’s University of Tanzania from September 2011 to the present in 2016.
- Moses Matonya (2008), Real Power: Jesus Christ’s Authority over the Spirits, (USA: Oasis International )
- Moses Matonya & Phanuel Mng’ong’o (2013), ‘The Anglican Church of Tanzania’, in The Willey-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion edited by Ian Markham, Barney Hawkins IV, (USA: Wiley-Blackwell)
- Papers for workshop
- Moses Matonya, ‘The Protestant Christian in Africa: Is it an Ontological Conflict or Negation of the Reformation Theologies?’ Paper presented on August 12, 2014 at the Conference at Tumaini University Dar es salaam College to celebrate 500 years of Protestant Reformation in the world. The paper discusses what protestant reformation meant to the Europeans of 500 years ago and what it means to a Protestant Christian in Africa today.
More pictures from Commissioning Service
CCT, with support from Church of Sweden, is conducting a seminar for Bishops on Islam. The purpose of this seminar is to help Bishops broaden their understanding on Islam and current trends on Islamic radicalization and extremism. The two day seminar has started on 23rd of May and will end on 24th of May. The attendants include Bishops from CCT member churches, representatives of Church of Sweden, Zanzibar Interfaith Centre and CCT secretariat.
Here are some updates in pictures:
CCT has been facilitating high level consultative meetings between Religious Leaders and other important stakeholders at national level including political parties, government officials, national election commission and law enforcers organs, to challenge policy and legal frameworks that perpetuate systematic injustice and threat of peace and promote a culture of dialogue to resolve sensitive matters of contention between religions (Christianity and Islam), political parties (ruling party and opposition parties) and all Tanzanians at large. The political tension that is experienced in Tanzania still needs further mediation and dialogues within the political parties and religious leaders. The need to continue engaging malt-stakeholders dialogues in democratic processes is still of high importance.
With this background CCT in collaboration with Tanzania Centre Democracy (TCD) which is formed by the political parties having members of the parliament conducted a consultative workshop on 9th May, 2017. The meeting was attended by 7 members of the political parties which are chairperson and party secretary from CHADEMA, NCCR-MAGEUZI and ACT-Wazalendo and 18 Religious leaders from religious leader’s umbrella bodies of TEC, CPCT, CCT, BAKWATA and KARISMTIC. The ruling party CCM was invited by TCD but did not show up in the meeting.
The meeting was successful as it was a forum to evaluate and discuss different issues that are happening in the political space and share concerns on the role of each other in addressing the issues. Some of the concerns raise were that the religious leaders have been quite and have not provided its prophetic voice to emerging issues, freedom of speech and media, independency of the judiciary and parliament, abduction and disappearing of people, and killings of citizens and police in Kibiti,rufiji and Mkuranga.
It was agreed that these meetings should continue to provide a forum for discussion and consultation in addressing the national peace and tranquility.
OBJECTIVE OF THE CONSULTATION
The main objective of the consultation was to discuss together the national peace and tranquility. Specifically it aimed at
- Sharing the experience of the political situation in Tanzania
- Evaluating the political environment that threaten the peace of Tanzania
OPENING REMARKS BY CCT CHAIRPERSON-Bishop Alinikisa Cheyo
The chairperson of CCT, represented by vice chairperson, thanked all the participants for their readiness to come and participate in this meeting. He emphasized that roundtable consultations and discussions have been the source of peace and harmony in the history of the world. It is important to make sure these meetings are happening to calm the tension before the situation becomes violent. He asked the participants to be open and ready to discuss the situation in a way that will contribute to peace and justice within the Tanzanians
OPENING REMARKS BY TCD CHAIRPERSON – Hon. Freeman Mbowe
The chairperson of TCD thanked the religious leaders for their input in the discussion of peace and harmony in the country. He asked religious leaders to forgive the politicians when they err in words or deeds. He said that Tanzania Centre for Democracy was established as a platform for political parties with members of parliament to discuss and negotiate different issues as a means to maintain peace and secure political environment in the country. However the operations of TCD in the current regime has changed and so far TCD has failed to perform its duties as it is supposed to.
The chairperson of CHADEMA Hon. Freeman Mbowe, opened his presentation by saying that the permanent powers of the country are build up in the pillar of trust and people. He insisted that the religious leaders have both powers of trust and people in their outreach. He challenged the religious leaders not being courageous enough to take steps to address the issues that are ongoing in the country as a measure to have a better country that is peaceful and democratic. He revealed that the political parties rely on religious leaders to direct the roadmap to the country’s peace, democracy and development. He said that the country now is faced with the following issues that the religious leaders have to work on and find the solutions if Tanzania is to remain a peaceful and democratic state.
- The political space is shrinking every day: Since the introduction of multi-party in Tanzania political parties have been allowed to conduct politics according to the law. However with the 5th regime Government political activities have been tightly restricted. For instance Political Parties can no longer conduct public meetings, while some of the internal meetings are also interfered or disallowed. Yet, leaders and MPs from political parties are threatened due to unwarranted arrests and unfounded charges them with different cases and even abducting them is going on. The state is quiet but fearful.
- Freedom of media and freedom of speech: The introduction and implementation of the Media Services Act and Cybercrime Act have been used to jeopardize freedom of speech and media. The media is highly censored since publication or airing of content is under strict scrutiny by the government. There is fear among media houses as well because airing content contrary to government’s wishes is not safe. In a particular incident he cited a case where a government official forcefully entered a media house premises and tried to coerce publication of content in his favour, against journalism ethics.
- Independency of the Judiciary: This is a highly important pillar for any democratic state where citizens believe to get justice, he insisted. For now the judiciary is not independent as the Regional and District Commissioners have been given powers over judicial officers. To date the arm is lead by Acting Chief Justice and the President has been offering resources directing the judiciary of what to do. Therefore the public is losing trust as to whether they can get justice from Judiciary.
- Independency of the Parliament: The government is interfering too much with affairs of the National Assembly to the extent that the parliament is not an independent pillar of the state. The government has banned live broadcasts from the National Assembly; the president is not adhering to the Budget Act as he reallocates resources as he wishes without following the procedures of reallocation in budget process. Worse enough the ruling party MPs are afraid of challenging the government. These are some of the issues that threaten the independency of the parliament and the oversight role of the parliament.
- Elected leaders .V. appointed leaders: There is a growing trend of the appointed leaders like District commissioners, District executive Directors and Regional commissioners to act as if they have more powers than elected members. The President has even said that councilors should not “disturb” District Executive Directors (DEDs) not taking into account the powers of councilors according to Local Governments Act. So far serious controversies have happened between presidential appointees and elected leaders (MPs and Councilors). Therefore adherence to the rule of law and equality before the law is at stake.
He concluded by saying that, there is a state of fear amongst the members of political parties, the public servants, members of parliament and public at large. The religious leaders are quite and have not used their prophetic voices to address the injustices that are going on. Religious leaders have put the interests of their organization at the expense of the state interests and some have become part of some the political parties and fail to address the injustices conducted by the government. He insisted that the religious leaders should stand to their prophetic voice and address the injustices
The chairperson of NCCR-Mageuzi Hon. James Mbatia thanked CCT for organizing this meeting. He seconded the issues highlighted by CHADEMA chairperson and he insisted that, the dialogues between political parties and religious leaders are important for the national peace and harmony. The role of the religious leaders in addressing the situation of the country now is of high importance. Religious leaders are quite and have not taken steps to address the situation of the country. They should be pro active before the situation is uncontrollable. The culture of Tanzanians of dialoguing and tolerance is decreasing every day steps have to be taken and religious leaders have a role to play.
In his conclusion, he said that conflict that is going on within the CUF have to be resolved and Zanzibar crisis and religious leaders have a role and moral mandate to solve the problem with CUF.
The peace that Tanzania is experiencing did not come from nowhere, but it has been built, said Hon. Zitto Kabwe, the Leader of ACT-Wazalendo. Despite the fact that Tanzania is having all major elements for civil conflicts, there have been no eruptions of civil wars. This is because for a long time we have had a political culture that entertained dialogue and peaceful resolution of tensions. Unfortunately the political culture of Tanzanian is deteriorating and that threatens the foundation of peace in Tanzania. He said that the country is faced with the following problems
- Economic depression: He said that even though we are talking of the economic growth in public, the truth is that by August,2016 if there are no steps taken Tanzania economy will collapse and we shall go to serious economic depression
- Unemployment: unemployment is increasing in the country. The government has failed to create opportunity for employment and now they have shed off about 10,000 Tanzanians on fake certificates. The situation of bad is a time bomb as also private sector is downsizing its workers.
- The killing of citizens and police in Rufiji, Mkuranga and Kibiti:
There has been a series of killings in this district causing death to the police and citizens. However, the government has not taken serious steps to address the issues. There is possibility of growing rebel groups in this area of there is a terrorist group in these district. Religious leaders should push for some steps to be taken before the situation runs out of hand.
He concluded by saying that, he is wondering as to why the religious leaders are quite in telling the President Magufuli of all these issues. Why are they quite? Why are they not as vocal as they used to be in the past?
DISCUSSION AFTER PRESENTATION
The religious leaders thanked the members from political parties for being ready and participating in this meeting. The discussion raised the following issues of concerns;
- They agreed that there are some challenges facing some of the religious leaders that hinders their prophetic voice including the threats, being polarized and sometime affiliation to the political parties.
- Sometimes political leaders are not giving out the information to the public that is reliable and realistic for the religious leaders to take actions. The need to collaborate to get reliable information is necessary.
- The need to address the political situation in Zanzibar. Even though Zanzibar looks calm and peaceful emerging of one party system is not health and things might happen and become out of hand and uncontrollable actions that will destabilize the peace. Sharing of the national cake is important if Zanzibar is to remain at peace.
WAY FORWARD AND CONCLUSION
The meeting participants agreed the following as the way forward;
- The meeting between political parties and religious leaders should be continued. TCD in collaboration with CCT can enable the meeting at least twice a year to allow discussions and consultations
- For the religious leaders to digest the information and sharing among themselves and come up with a prophetic messages to address the issues brought forward by the political parties for maintenance of peace
- For the religious leaders and political parties to continue to find a way to meet with the President to discuss with him different national issue
- The need for the make sure constitutional making process is revived and continued
- To establish a small task force of religious leaders to mediate the ongoing CUF conflict.
- To meet with the speaker and discuss with him some issues of national concern and the role of parliament as an oversight body
Meeting participants concluded that, the meeting was an important forum for discussions and consultation in addressing peace issues in Tanzania. It is a necessary forum for being proactive to address and maintain the existing peace and Tanzania political culture of discussion, tolerance and humility. It was agreed that the efforts by CCT and TCD were worth efforts.
Community Monitors is a project designed to support powerful action by youth in the local communities in response to the destruction of the community life and the environment caused by operations of private corporations and failures of Government officials. This is a project done in the community where the community monitors develop their skills in information gathering, writing and communications.
This program started in 2012 at Dar es Sallam with the youth from Temeke Ditrict later expanded to other district in Dar es salaam region who joined the previous group and make a total of 35 youth who are community monitors 15 women 20 men who were trained on how to be community monitors of their own localities. Among other thing these youth were facilitated to gather information from 25 District of which NCA is operating. They have ged to collect community voices on Economic Empowerment, resource Governance, Youth unemployment, extractive industries, climate change and human trafficking (Rural Ubran migration). In 2015 these have succeed to publish Newsletter titled “JICHO LA JAMII” .
In 2016, the project was implemented in Bahi, 13 youth were trained in various topic especially on writting skills, gathering information, Analysis, internet and the economy system.
On 15th November 2016 Bahi District welcomed 43 members from Ikungi and Singida districts of Singida Region to learn and experience the program of Good Governance in Bahi District.
CCT through Interfaith Relations is working strongly to advocate Inter-religious dialogues and peace building for peaceful coexistence in the country. Through this program, Christians and Muslims show their solidarity and participation on interfaith relations. Dialogue among people of different faiths foster a mutual respect and creates an atmosphere for understanding each other’s religious beliefs. The dialogue draws the parties more closer to each other to replace hostility and misunderstanding among them. The program has successfully managed to bring together Muslims and Christians through Interfaith committees in Region and District level. Each committee consists of 20-30 religious leaders. Women and Youth are also included in the committees as pictures show.
The committees meet in Annually Quarterly basis meetings and by conducting Special training on interfaith relations, Conflict and Resolutions and Lands laws. Interfaith Relations, Conflict Transformation and Based Lands Laws, are very key topics to religious leaders as a tool for their life as their mandate on solving conflicts is concerned in their communities. Interfaith Relations as a basic of the program has been taught in every committee. The topic of Conflict Transformation has been trained in 10 committees of Mwanza, Tanga, Tabora, Arusha Same,Geita, Nyanghw’ale, Chato, Bukombe, and Mbogwe. Interfaith committees in Bahi, Mvomero, Kilosa and Kiteto have received training on Land Laws due to the nature of agriculture activities.
When the warmth of children’s celebrations mingle in stark contrast with coldness of the message being conveyed one can only predict an emotional storm that will haunt every soul that takes consideration of the situation. The picture of jubilant children, girls and boys; with chubby chicks and round bright eyes singing at the top of their voices, verbalising in unison the brutality and ugliness of female genital mutilation. It is even more chilling when one imagines the fact that most of the young girls attending the day are themselves already victims of such a horrible act. With an audience fairly representing all segments of the society, the day had received its due attention among villagers.
Singida is one of the regions in Tanzania where FGM is practised rampantly. Over time the practitioners have developed different ways to circumvent the arm of the law. For some time they have been cutting girls immediately after they are born. This practice enabled them to do it without attracting attention of the government, since the whole process is done in secrecy and even when the baby cries out of pain it is still too inconspicuous since babies do cry always. The practice eventually led to many deaths of under-fives due to bleeding, infection and trauma.
The infant FGM came to light, the government required that all girls to be inspected when they attend the regular clinic. The government’s reaction was successful to secure girls under before they reach the age of five; but after five years there is a loophole. So although the government took action, still girls are cut when they go past five years of age, and the problem persists. Women are the main culprits behind this harmful practise to girl children.
After consistent effort CCT has been working in Singida through multiple social fronts in order to sensitize the community on effects of FGM. Many adults have heard it through Village Community Banks (VICOBA) programs and meetings, but the most interesting is the children’s part: where children through Sunday schools and training camps have been so much sensitized that they are becoming ambassadors by themselves.
On 6th November 2016 Sunday school children from different parts of Singida district gathered at Ngimu village to voice their stand against FGM. As each group came forward for a performance it came very clear how the message against FGM has spread. On this day children are organized for such an event so as to continue sensitization among community members and children themselves.
For this year the event was graced by Rev. Rehema Gwau, the in charge of women children and gender at Lutheran Central Diocese (Singida) on behalf of the Bishop of the Central Diocese. In her message she stressed on child rights and the need for parents to be more responsible with their children well being as per God’s message in the Bible.