GS Visits CCT Members and Projects [Pics]

GS together with a self help group in Nyang'ombe village in Rorya. The group is supporting people living with HIV
GS together with a self help group in Nyang’ombe village in Rorya. The group is supporting people living with HIV
GS and Bishop of Mennonite Church in Serengeti standing with District Commissioner of Serengeti
GS and Bishop of Mennonite Church in Serengeti standing with District Commissioner of Serengeti
GS with Geita Interfaith Committee
GS with Geita Interfaith Committee
GS at Mennonite Printing Press in Musoma. This is the place where the famous 'Tenzi za Rohoni' has been printed for decades
GS at Mennonite Printing Press in Musoma. This is the place where the famous ‘Tenzi za Rohoni’ has been printed for decades

GS and Staff of Mara-Ukerewe Diocese (AICT). The picture was taken at Bweri Health Centre
GS and Staff of Mara-Ukerewe Diocese (AICT). The picture was taken at Bweri Health Centre
New Offices for Geita Diocese, African Inland Church of Tanzania. GS poised with CCT and Geita Diocese Staff
A warm reception when GS visited a Kurya community in Serengeti. The community is still having a problem with Female Genital Mutilation, and CCT is working to intervene
GS visiting one of the projects by PKW Self Help Groups in Kwimba, Mwanza
GS and Bishop Mwita Akiri of Anglican Church of Tanzania (Diocese of Tarime) poised with students at tailoring school run by the diocese
GS and Bishop Mwita Akiri of Anglican Church of Tanzania (Diocese of Tarime) poised with students at tailoring school run by the diocese

New CCT General Secretary

Rev. Can. Matonya & family
Rev. Can. Moses Matonya, his wife Ruth & family

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.

  1. 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.
  1. Publications
  • 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)
  1. 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

 

Rev. Matonya being commissioned to work as General Secretary of CCT by Bishop Alex Malasusa, the outgoing CCT Chairperson
New General Secretary Rev. Matonya with his wife together with CCT Chairperson and the Outgoing Chairperson and some members of the secretariat
New General Secretary Rev. Matonya with his wife together with CCT Chairperson and the Outgoing Chairperson and some members of the secretariat

Bishops from all over Tanzania attended the commissioning service at Holy Spirit Anglican Cathedral
Bishops from all over Tanzania attended the commissioning service at Holy Spirit Anglican Cathedral

Bishops Seminar on Islam

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:

Welcome Note By CCT General Secretary, Rev. Canon Moses Matonya
Welcome Note By CCT General Secretary, Rev. Canon Moses Matonya
Some of the attendants (L-R): Brighton Kilewa (ELCT General Secretary), Bishop Chedieli Sendoro, Bishop Oscar Mnung'a
Some of the attendants (L-R): Brighton Killewa (ELCT General Secretary), Bishop Chedieli Sendoro, Bishop Oscar Mnung’a
Introduction by Church of Sweden by Josephine Sundqvist
Introductory note by Church of Sweden by Josephine Sundqvist
Some of the attendants (L-R): Bishop Alinikisa Cheyo, Bishop Joseph Mutorela
Some of the attendants (L-R): Bishop Alinikisa Cheyo, Bishop Joseph Mutorela
Presentation by Rev. Dr. Bwire, representing PROCMURA and a lecturer on Islam from Kenyatta University (Kenya)
Presentation by Rev. Dr. Bwire, representing PROCMURA and a lecturer on Islam from Kenyatta University (Kenya)
Rev. Dr. Leonard Mtaita presenting on Historical Background of Radicalization in Tanzania
Rev. Dr. Leonard Mtaita presenting on Historical Background of Radicalization in Tanzania
Rev. Dr. Leonard Mtaita presenting on Historical Background of Radicalization in Tanzania
Rev. Dr. Leonard Mtaita presenting on Historical Background of Radicalization in Tanzania
Rev. Dr. Bengston Hakan presentation on Co-existence and Religious Radicalization in Holy Land
Rev. Dr. Bengston Hakan presentation on Co-existence and Religious Radicalization in Holy Land
Audience listening to Dr. Hakan
Rev. Dr. Bengston Hakan presentation on Co-existence and Religious Radicalization in Holy Land
Rev. Dr. Bengston Hakan presentation on Co-existence and Religious Radicalization in Holy Land

Religious Leaders Meet With Political Parties’ Leaders

Participants in a Group Photo

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

Vice Chairperson of CCT Bishop Alinikisa Cheyo addressing the meeting

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

Chairperson of TCD Hon. Freeman Mbowe addressing the meeting

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.

CHADEMA PRESENTATION

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5.  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

NCCR-MAGEUZI PRESENTATION

The chairperson of NCCR-Mageuzi Hon. James Mbatia

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.

ACT-WAZALENDO PRESENTATION

Hon. Zitto Kabwe the Leader of ACT-Wazalendo

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

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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;

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Sheikh Kabeke of BAKWATA contributing to the discussion

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.

Religious Leaders Intervention on Political Tensions in the Country

The CHADEMA delegation under Chairman Mbowe
The CHADEMA delegation under Chairman Mbowe, in the meeting on 30th August

One of CCT mandates is to foster unity, peaceful coexistence and religious tolerance in Tanzania. In so doing CCT has involved itself with various interventions for the sake of conflict resolution, peace building and overall enhancement of peaceful and brotherly lifestyle, for which Tanzania is known all over the world.

Following recent developments in political landscape in Tanzania, under the shadow of 2015’s General Election fallout, the temperature has gone up. Tanzania has witnessed serious commotions in the National Assembly as both the Opposition and the Ruling Party threw tantrum; with the Deputy Speaker taking most of the blame. At its peak the National Assembly conundrum led into Opposition boycotting sessions; also a number of Opposition MPs have been barred from participating in Parliamentary sessions as a punishment for ‘misbehaving in the Parliamentary sessions’.

Religious leaders, representatives of Political Parties and the Minister for Internal Affairs on 24th August
Religious leaders, representatives of Political Parties and the Minister for Internal Affairs on 24th August

Tanzania has also witnessed the President banning political activities for the rest of time until the next General Election 2020. As the Government has been firm with its rulings so has the Opposition with its defiance. The Government is blaming the Opposition for incitement while the Opposition is blaming the Government for attempting to kill Democracy. It has been increasingly tense, and as time passed by, there came the UKUTA phenomenon (UKUTA stands for Umoja wa Kupinga Udikteta Tanzania, which means the Union against dictatorship in Tanzania), and as some have been looking at it; the nation was at a verge of widespread bloodshed. The tension between the two sides each with its millions of supporters was brewing into a bitter vendetta as some gestures of hatred were being witnessed in Mainland Tanzania as well as Zanzibar. Each statement from the Government courted its due defiance from Opposition, and so it went on. Despite all that none of the two seemed to buckle under pressure.

As all that was happening CCT in partnership with Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bavaria, Church of Sweden, Bread for the World and Tearfund organized Religious Leaders to muster their effort in order to sort out the situation.

The first meeting was on “Religious Radicalization” and it was essentially a seminar for Bishops on dynamics around the subject. At the end of the seminar it was decided that leaders should meet again on 20th July together with their Muslim counterparts. The second meeting was a consultative one and again under the same issue: Religious Radicalization. At the end of that consultation of Religious Leaders on Religious Radicalization, beside other resolutions, it was also decided that they meet and discuss the political situation of the country specifically on the boycott of Members of Parliament from Parliamentary Sessions (specifically sessions led by the Deputy Speaker).

On 30th there were few religious leaders as well as only Key leaders of CHADEMA
On 30th there were few religious leaders as well as only Key leaders of CHADEMA

The third meeting was conducted on 24th August where CCT again called a small number of Religious Leaders and discussed both the boycott and demonstration. The Religious Leaders met with Opposition and Ruling Party at different slots of a 10 hours meeting. In the meeting the Opposition was very vocal with the idea that the country is run oblivious to the rule of law and that the Government is controlling the National Assembly. Moreover the Opposition questioned the belated response from Religious Leaders on the situation. In their turn the delegation from CCM contended that the Parliament is run by rules and regulations which should be adhered to. They also questioned the wisdom of Opposition to boycott the sessions since they had not exhausted the Parliamentary procedures to deal with their case against the Deputy Speaker. After long discussion particularly with the Opposition leaders they agreed to go back to the Parliament, effective from September.

One of the resolutions of 24th August meeting was to meet the President on the next day, 25th. However it did not work out as planned. Because of that the Religious Leaders decided to meet again on 30th and decide way forward before 1st September.

As 30th of August approached the temperature increased. The Opposition, led by CHADEMA was very clear with its UKUTA message. The public was well scared as police and military forces made some displays of power in the streets. Fear must have been the most common feeling for the public in that period. By that time the Government had practically banned any sort of political meeting, internal or otherwise.

The gleam of hope shone when the leader of CHADEMA accepted to attend the 30th meeting. In the meeting with Religious Leaders the CHADEMA leadership made clear of their rationale as far as UKUTA is concerned. Essentially they stood by their opinion until the deal was struck such that they would only postpone their activity till 1st October, given that Religious Leaders will be working to sort out the matter with the President. The aim of Religious Leaders was clearly stated that they want to meet the President and convince him to meet with Opposition and talk with them to end their political differences for the sake of the peace of the nation.

Following the meeting, the CHADEMA leadership agreed and informed the public on their decision to postpone the demonstration until 1st October. Eventually what could have been a black Thursday became a peaceful day for stargazers to enjoy solar eclipse, especially what they call the ring of fire. Peace had prevailed.

Currently Religious Leaders are planning to meet the President in this September, preferably between 12th and 16th. There is a lot of optimism that the President will be willing this time to meet with Religious Leaders. Although Tanzania is not yet out of woods, in this context, there is hope that there will be a breakthrough. There is hope that before 1st October, God will grant Tanzania another chapter of Democracy maturity and political wisdom.

CCT Support to People With Low Vision & Blindness in Chamwino [In Pics]

CCT General Secretary (L), Hon. Vumilia Nyamoga (Chamwino District Commissioner) (R) and one of beneficiaries (C)
CCT General Secretary (L), Hon. Vumilia Nyamoga (Chamwino District Commissioner) (R) and one of beneficiaries (C)

The event took place on Sunday 31/7/2016 and it was graced by Chamwino DC Hon. Vumilia Nyamoga. In total the goods were supplied to 11 households with 58 residents where majority have impaired vision. Items issued include:

  1. Blankets/Quilts
  2. Health Kits
  3. Soap
  4. School kits
  5. Bibles
  6. Braille
  7. Food Supplies
GS handing Bible to Chamwino District Commissioner
GS handing Bible to Chamwino District Commissioner

More Pictures

20120527_190754 20120527_191637 20120527_191851

Courtesy CCT WAMA

Workshop of Religious Leaders on Peaceful Coexistence

Religious leaders poised with Hon. Mwigulu Nchemba (MP) the Minister for Internal Affairs
Religious leaders poised with Hon. Mwigulu Nchemba (MP) the Minister for Internal Affairs

Incidences of religious intolerance have been increasing in Tanzania for the past five years. The incidences include burning of churches and mosque, killing of religious clergies, pouring of acid to religious clergies, provoking religious teachings. There is also insufficient monitoring and documentation of religious intolerance incidences and documenting of the best practices of religious tolerance.

With this back ground CCT organized a one day conference on 20th July 2016. The conference brought together Christians and Muslims at National level to discuss on how best to maintain peaceful coexistence and promote religious tolerance. At the end of this conference a national interfaith committee will be established which will have the role of periodical monitoring of religious media on issues of tolerance, bringing evidence to national consultative meetings, bringing together religious owned media (owners and editors) to encourage them to support religious tolerance and ensure members take action to address the issues of religious tolerance.

The meeting is attended by Minister of Internal Affairs, BAKWATA, CCT, CPCT, TEC and the Media.

In his speech the guest of honour, the Minister for Internal Affairs appreciated the role of religious leaders in facilitating peaceful passage through last year’s general elections. Despite the tense atmosphere the elections were conducted under peaceful atmosphere with exception of pockets of violence in few places. The minister acknowledged that the contribution of religious leaders on peace building and conflict resolution is essential for the nation.

Religious leaders facilitated by prayer the country’s safe passage through elections of 2015. Despite all odds the country went through the historic election in peace and harmony. Although the government had invested a lot in security for the election it seems all the security machines were redundant because the religious leaders had played their part significantly.

The minister also stated that religious leaders are faithful and cannot be accomplices to criminals. In that way and due to strong structures they have, religious leaders can facilitate security from national to grassroots. With this structure they can easily help the government in addressing security issues in the nation.

Also the minister insisted that individual criminal actions should not be used to stereotype the entire religious group. Instead all religions should play central role in denouncing and rebuking all evils done by its members.  Also religious bodies should play significant role in solving criminal cases concerning their people so as to avoid the entire congregations to be implicated or stereotyped as criminals. With this trend it will enhance trust for people of different religious backgrounds as well as between religious bodies. Eventually all religions join hands in tackling crimes and avoid implicating the innocent.

After the minister’s speech, the leaders were taken through the Terrorism Act 2002 RE. Where it was presented that there are confusions in defining terrorism. Apart from the internationally known definition of terrorism the law of terrorism puts final authority on the minister of internal affairs to decide whether an action is terrorism or not. Given the tensions, biases and stereotypes associated with terrorism some leaders were uncomfortable with the fact that the decisions has to come from the minister.

Other presentations were on ‘What does Islam say about terrorism’ and another on ‘How to Christians view Muslims’.

After long discussion that was not without strong statements from each religion towards the other, Muslim and Christian leaders agreed on the following:

  1. Secretariats of TEC, CCT and BAKWATA shall propose names for members of national interfaith committee
  2. Each religion shall take vehemently oppose and denounce national and international terrorist activities done in the name of religion
  • The secretariats shall prepare another meeting so that leaders get more room to speak more openly on about their feelings
  1. The secretariat and the national interfaith committee shall together prepare a meeting to address current political atmosphere in Tanzania

Round Table Meeting [In Pics]

CCT Management Team, Members of Policy Finance & Program and Partners

CCT Management Team, Members of Policy Finance & Program and Partners

The meeting in progress
The meeting in progress
Left to Right: Bishop Munga (Chairperson Policy Finance & Program), Suzane (Bread for the World), Gilbert (Norwegian Church Aid)
Left to Right: Bishop Munga (Chairperson Policy Finance & Program), Suzane (Bread for the World), Gilbert (Norwegian Church Aid)
Tearfund Country Representative, Justin Nyamoga interacting with members of CCT management
Tearfund Country Representative, Justin Nyamoga interacting with members of CCT management
Representative of Church of Sweden taking a sunset walk with CCT staff
Representative of Church of Sweden taking a sunset walk with CCT staff

CCT General Secretary & Traditional Birth Attendants [In Pics]

CCT General Secretary Dr. Leonard Mtaita poised with traditional birth attendants who attended seminar at Theofile Kisanji Women’s Training Centre in Morogoro. To his right is Mrs Jesca Mkuchu, centre’s director
CCT General Secretary Dr. Leonard Mtaita poised with traditional birth attendants who attended seminar at Theofile Kisanji Women’s Training Centre in Morogoro. To his right is Mrs. Jesca Mkuchu, centre’s director

CCT through the Morogoro Women’s training centre is equipping traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in order to improve maternal and child health. In many communities in Tanzania, traditional birth attendants are the major attendants for mothers during delivery.

CCT General Secretary Dr. Leonard Mtaita with some of leaders of traditional birth attendants at Theofilo Kisanji Morogoro Women’s Training Centre
CCT General Secretary Dr. Leonard Mtaita and Mrs. Jesca Mkuchu (first left) with some of leaders of traditional birth attendants at Theofilo Kisanji Morogoro Women’s Training Centre

Tamko la Viongozi wa Dini 17.09.2015

TAMKO LA VIONGOZI WA DINI KUHUSU UHURU, HAKI NA AMANI KUELEKEA UCHAGUZI MKUU LEO TAREHE 17.09.2015

Sisi, viongozi wa dini pamoja na taasisi zinazosimamia mchakato wa uchaguzi (NEC,TAKUKURU,Polisi pamoja na Msajili wa vyama vya siasa)  tuliokutana leo tarehe 17/9/2015, tumepata nafasi ya kujadili kwa kina suala la uhuru,haki na amani kuelekea uchaguzi mkuu utakaofanyika 25/10/2015 na wajibu wa kila mdau kuhakikisha kuwa uhuru,haki na amani vinalindwa kipindi hiki.Suala la uhuru haki na amani ni wajibu wetu sisi viongozi wa dini na watanzania wote kwa ujumla na halina mjadala.Kila mmoja achukuwe nafasi yake kulinda uhuru,haki na amani na kuweka uzalendo kwanza kuliko kutanguliza maslahi binafsi ya vyama vya siasa.

Viongozi wa dini wamepata nafasi ya kujadili na vyombo hivi masuala ya msingi kama kuhakikisha kuwa maadili ya uchaguzi yanazingatiwa kwa wote, muda wa kutangaza matokeo ya kura unazingatiwa , haki ya wananchi kupata matokeo haraka ili kuepuka fujo wakati wa kusubiri na kutangazwa kwa matokeo. Jeshi la polisi kutokutumia nguvu kupita kiasi, wajibu wa Msajili kuhakikisha vyama vyote vinapata fursa sawa na pia tumejadili suala la kutumia nyumba za ibada kama sehemu ya jukwaa la siasa.

Viongozi wa dini tumekubaliana kwa pamoja kuepuka kutumia nyumba za ibada kuonyesha ushabiki wa aina yoyote kwa chama chochote cha siasa.

Baada ya kujadili kwa kina masuala hayo viongozi wa dini wanatoa wito ufuatao;

  1. Vyombo vya habari vifanye kazi kwa ueledi bila upendeleo na pia kuhakikisha kuwa inatoa taarifa ya kutosha kuelimisha umma.
  2. Tunaishauri NEC kwenye chaguzi zijazo iweke utaratibu maalum wa kuruhusu wanafunzi wa vyuo vikuu waliojiandikisha pamoja na watu wote waliojiandikisha/watakaojiandikisha waweze kupiga kura.
  3. Tunaishauri NEC   kwenye chaguzi zijazo  siku ya kupiga kura isiwe siku ya ibada.
  4. NEC iendelee kutoa elimu ya uraia kuhusu haki ya raia kupiga kura na haki yao ya kukaa mita mia moja kusubiri matokeo yatangazwe kwa utulivu kama ambavyo NEC imehakikishia viongozi wa dini kuwa kila kituo itabandika matokeo yote (Urais,Ubunge na Udiwani)
  5. Pamoja na kutimiza wajibu wake wa msingi wa kulinda raia na mali zao Jeshi la polisi wakati huu wa uchaguzi liendelee kutimiza wajibu wake wa kusimamia amani na taratibu kwa haki bila upendeleo.
  6. Wagombea,wafuasi na wanaowanadi, wanaaswa waache mara moja lugha za matusi,vitisho,kejeli na kukashifiana vinavyoweza kuchochea fujo na kuleta uvunjifu wa amani wajikite kunadi sera za vyama vyao.
  7. Tunawahimiza wananchi kuwa makini katika kufuatilia kampeni na sera mbalimbali za wagombea, kuzipima kwa hali ya juu sera hizo, kutokuuza kadi zao za kupigia kura, kutokununuliwa na kujitokeza kwa wingi kutumia uhuru na haki yao ya kuchagua viongozi wanao wataka kwa hiari na  amani.
  8. Viongozi wa dini wanawahimiza Watanzania wote kuendelea kuombea nchi hii kuendelea kuwa taifa lililojengwa   katika misingi ya uhuru , haki na amani.
  9. Viongozi wa dini tutabaki kuwa manabii na wahubiri wa uhuru,haki na amani wakati huu , wakati wa uchaguzi na baada ya uchaguzi

Sisi viongozi wa dini Tunawashukuru Inspekta generali wa polisi, Mwenyekiti wa Tume ya Uchaguzi, Msajili wa Vyama vya siasa na Mkurugenzi Mkuu wa TAKUKURU kwa ufafanuzi makini na wa kina juu ya nafasi na utayari wao wa kushirikiana na viongozi wa dini kuhakikisha uhuru, haki na amani vinaendelea nchini.Maelezo yao na mafafanuzi  yao tumeyasikia  na tutaendeleza kwa kuwa  hiki ni kikao cha mwanzo na tutaendelea kuwa na vikao vingine pamoja nao kuelekea uchaguzi mkuu ili kufuatilia utekelezaji na kuendeleza makubaliano yetu katika kuhakikisha uhuru,haki na amani.

Tamko hili limetolewa na viongozi wa dini ofisi ya Mufti Zanzibar,Baraza Kuu la Waislamu Tanzania (BAKWATA),Makanisan ya Karismatiki Pentekoste,Umoja wa Makanisa ya Kipentekoste Tanzania(CPCT), Baraza la Maaskofu Tanzania (TEC) na kuratibiwa na Jumuiya ya Kikristo Tanzania (CCT