Tanzania

Magufuli opposes non-cleric spokespersons for religious groups

Tanzanian President John Magufuli.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Dar es Salaam

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has directed religious institutions to choose spokesmen from among themselves who are clerics to avoid confusion.

Mr Magufuli made the statement on Tuesday during his visit to the Tanzania Muslim Council (Bakwata) where he inspected the construction project of the Mosque funded by Moroccan King Mohammed VI.

Speaking during the visit, President Magufuli said non-cleric religious spokespersons could alter the content of the messages and therefore mislead the public.

“Let clerics speak for themselves because using non-cleric spokespersons may bring confusion in the nation, since they may add some "salt" for their individual interests,” he said.

Support

He assured full support to religious leaders, noting that the government will take into consideration opinion of religious leaders from all denominations in the country.

In another development, President Magufuli gave a TSh10 million in assistance to Bakwata for purchase of 625 bags of cement in support of the project.

“During the King’s visit I requested assistance of implementation of this project and construction of a football stadium in Dodoma, which he accepted,” he said, adding:

“I will be pleased if the King himself or his representative will be part of the inauguration ceremony after completion,” he said.

Largest mosque

He proposed the mosque to be named after King Mohammed’s name. The mosque is considered to be the largest within the Eastern and Central Africa.

Speaking during the visit, Chief Sheikh, Abubakary Zubeiry Bin Ally said the mosque whose construction is expected to be completed in April next year, will accommodate 7,000 to 8,000 worshippers.

“Bakwata appreciates this gesture. It will remain a memorable legacy to Muslims in the country. We are confident that we will be able to host any Muslim guest from the international arena at a national level,” he said.

For his part, the Ambassador of Morocco to Tanzania, Mr Abdeliyah Benryane, thanked President Magufuli for his support of peace and religious tolerance in the world.