Samia: Door ajar for dialogue with clerics

15May 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Samia: Door ajar for dialogue with clerics

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday declared that the government was open for discussion with religious leaders and institutions on burning issues to promote peace and unity in the country.

Addressing an Eid- el-Fitr assembly at Mnazi Mmoja grounds in Dar es Salaam, the president said the government will always respect freedoms, uphold democracy and the right to worship.

“Let me assure you that the door is open for discussion with religious leaders because you have a big following and enjoy the trust of believers,” she told the gathering.

The remarks were directed at the leadership of the National Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA), with Secretary General Nuhu Mruma asking that the president abrogates existing detention orders and release Zanzibar sheikhs who have for years been held in custody.

Without mentioning their actual designation, Sheikh Mruma told an attentive Eid assembly that staying in custody for a long time without trial denies them the right to timely access to justice.

The president urged the gathering to abide by the teachings emphasised during the holy month of Ramadan as a reference point for unity, peace and love that underlines the fasting

“The major challenge remains the maintenance of the country’s peace” she said, elaborating that maintaining the vows that underline the fasting will enable the country uphold the peace and security.

She urged religious leaders to take time to sensitise their followers on the importance of promoting peace as well as promoting personal hygiene and environmental cleanliness in their localities.

President Samia also asked civil servants to be dutiful and be satisfied with what they earn, appealing to those in the private sector to make sure they pay taxes accordingly.

Muslims in the county joined fellow believers around the world to mark this year’s Eid El-Fitr with key speakers calling upon women to dress decently as required under the teachings of the faith.

Chief Sheikh Mufti Abubakar Zubeir led thousands of believers for Eid prayers at Mnazi Mmoja, where in his remarks to the assembly he requested the government to remove tax on dates to facilitate fasting for Muslims as it proved to be a challenge this year.

“Your Excellency may I request you to help us with the issue of dates because this was a problem during the holy month of Ramadhan. Dates are imported and those who bring them to us complained of high taxes,” he explained.

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