Archbishop Norbert Mtega of Songea Catholic Archdiocese has called upon people to put God first when deliberating on the country’s new constitution.
He said this on Sunday during the twin celebration of the Silver Jubilee of Mbinga Diocese and the installation of Dr Emmanuel Mapunda as its Bishop.
Archbishop Mtega advised the people to set aside individual interests to enable the country to put in place a good Union Constitution.
Addressing the people who turned up for the celebrations at St Milian Church at the Mbinga Cathedral that saw its founding bishop mark 25 years since he was installed, the archbishop said: "It is crucial time to acknowledge the existence of God, existence of authority, legal system, services, human rights and peace."
The clergy strongly condemned habits of some people to set prayer houses especially churches, on fire saying that was gross interference with people's right to worship.
For his part Bishop Tarcisius Ngalelukumtwa who is the Tanzania Episcopal Conference President and heads Iringa diocese said the church was the only organ that could help bring about peace in the country.
He said it was important that people use the opportunity given to air their views to the commission mandated by President Jakaya Kikwete to collect and monitor people's opinions that will be used to formulate the new Constitution.
He called on the Constitutional Review Commission to give people sufficient time to air their views instead of giving the chance to just a few people.
The TEC president also called on the people to participate fully in the national population census scheduled for August 26, this year.
For his part, the retired President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa thanked God for the twin silver jubilee of the Diocese of Mbinga and the installation of its bishop, saying it was a moment to thank God for the many blessings he had endowed both on the nation and the people of Mbinga.
Mkapa said that Bishop Mapunda was his close friend and classmate at Kigonsera Seminary where they shared a desk when they were students.
“Under the leadership of Bishop Dr Emmanuel Mapunda the diocese has made huge progress, especially in education.
He said it has established a network of institutions of formation and education from the pre-school level upwards to include even the vocational and Education Training colleges, computer and teaching colleges," said retired President Mkapa.