(Reuters/NAN)Tanzania has threatened to revoke the registration of non secular organisations that “mix religion and politics” after a cleric criticised President John Magufuli’s management in a Christmas sermon.
Opposition leaders in Tanzania say tolerance for dissent has been quickly disappearing since Magufuli took workplace in late 2015 with pledges to reform East Africa’s third-biggest financial system and crack down on large-scale corruption.
Tanzania’s structure protects freedom of worship, however non secular organizations should register on the nation’s Home Affairs Ministry to get a license to function legally.
“Recently, some leaders of (religious) societies have been using their sermons to analyze political issues, which is contrary to the law,” the everlasting secretary within the Ministry of Home Affairs, Projest Rwegasira, mentioned.
“Any violation of the law could lead to cancellation of the registration of the concerned religious society,” he mentioned in an announcement.
The warning was issued simply days after the top of a Pentecostal church within the business capital Dar es Salaam criticized Magufuli’s management, saying his authorities was closing democratic area.
Zachary Kakobe, self-proclaimed bishop and founding father of the Full Gospel Bible Fellowship Church, accused the Tanzanian authorities of “quietly turning the country into a one-state rule by systematically banning political activity.”
The Home Affairs Ministry responded by issuing a public discover to spiritual organisations after the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) social gathering accused Kakobe of blending faith and politics.
Tanzanian police banned political protests and rallies indefinitely in June final yr, saying political exercise would solely be allowed throughout elections.
Magufuli, nicknamed “the Bulldozer” for pushing by means of his insurance policies, has gained some reward from Western donors for an anti-corruption marketing campaign and cuts to wasteful public spending.
Opponents accuse him of more and more undermining democracy by curbing dissent and stifling free speech.
Magufuli has publicly denied the allegations, saying he’s no dictator.
Several newspapers have been shut and greater than a dozen suspects prosecuted for allegedly insulting the president through WhatsApp and different social media platforms.
The CCM gained 42 of 43 native authorities elections in November, prompting the principle opposition events to announce a boycott of a number of parliamentary by-elections early subsequent yr, citing foul play.
Smaller opposition events will take part within the polls.
Tanzania, certainly one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most steady democracies, has held 5 comparatively peaceable multi-party elections since 1995, all gained by the CCM.