Magufuli: Religious bodies need to have specific spokespersons

13Jun 2018
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Magufuli: Religious bodies need to have specific spokespersons

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday called on religious institutions in the country to designate specific spokespersons to air their institutional views on important social issues so as to avoid national confusion that may arise when everybody speaks on their behalf.

Magufuli made the call during a visit to the National Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA) offices in Dar es Salaam where he inspected a mosque construction project being funded by the king of Morocco, Mohammed VI.

According to the President, non-cleric religious spokespersons often alter the content of institutional messages and therefore end up misleading the public.

“Let the clerics speak for themselves... non-cleric spokespersons may add ‘salt’ to the messages for their individual interests,” he remarked.

He used the occasion to reiterate full governmental support to the leaders of all religious denominations in the country, and stress that their opinions will always be given their proper seriousness by his administration.

Magufuli also provided BAKWATA authorities with 10 million/- to be used on the purchase of 625 bags of cement in support of the mosque project.

He recalled: “During King Mohammed’s visit to our country last year, I requested him for assistance towards this project and the construction of a proper football stadium in Dodoma, which he accepted.”

“I will be pleased if the King himself, or his representative, will participate in the inauguration ceremony after completion.”

He proposed that the mosque, which when completed is expected to be the largest within the eastern and central African region, be named after King Mohammed.

BAKWATA Chief Sheikh Abubakary Zubeiry Bin Ally said the mosque’s construction is expected to be completed in April next year, and it 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,” Sheikh Bin Ally said.

Morocco’s ambassador to Tanzania, Abdeliyah Benryane, saluted President Magufuli for supporting peace and religious tolerance in the world.

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