The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT), Northern East Diocese, has said it has no conflict with the government, stressing that its mission is to preach to communities it serves.
ELCT Northern East Diocese secretary-general Rev James Mwinuka issued the statement when responding to reports on complaints presented by some villagers to Tanga regional commissioner Chiku Gallawa during her recent tour of Lushoto district recently.
During the tour, local leaders from Mbokoi, Kifunta, Ngwelo and Ngelei villages complained that the Church hold a large piece of land, thus depriving villagers of space for implementing development projects, including construction of dispensaries and expansion of schools.
Rev Mwinuka said that the Church couldn’t enter into any antagonism with members of the community it serves or the government, assuring that claims that there was a brewing conflict between the institution and villagers were false.
He said the ELCT has been providing a lot of assistances to members of different communities, including construction of schools and health facilities.
Elaborating, he said the problem is that some villagers wanted to expand their activities to the land which is legally owned by the Church for years.
Rev Mwinuka said the Church had already provided part of its land to the community for implementation of development projects.
He called on the RC to go through all the documentations, which prove that the Church owns the land legally.
Addressing the villagers at the end of her tour, the RC promised to form a probe team that would go to Lushoto district to find out the truth concerning the matter.
She said once the probe team completes its work, the government would be in a position to settle the matter peacefully.