Monday, April 20, 2015


By GALGALO BOCHA      Monday, July 23, 2012

Madrassa pupils from Benyoka Primary School in Rabai, Kaloleni District, perform Islamic dance song Kaswida at the Mombasa International ASK show Arena last year. Photo/FILE

Madrassa pupils from Benyoka Primary School in Rabai, Kaloleni District, perform Islamic dance song Kaswida at the Mombasa International ASK show Arena last year. Photo/FILE

Islamic religious schools, commonly known as Madrassa, will be integrated into the formal education system, if a proposal by the government is adopted.

This is part of the radical changes to the education system outlined in the Basic Education Bill 2012 that is awaiting debate in Parliament.

Also to be absorbed into the curriculum is the Duksi system, which is largely practised among the Somali and involves memorising the Koran and other Islamic teachings.

“The Cabinet Secretary may make regulations to provide for integrating the Madrassa and Duksi systems of instruction into formal education as appropriate to improve access and retention,” says the Bill.

The proposed law also seeks to set up a National Council for Nomadic Education to promote education in pastoral and arid areas.

Last week, acting Education permanent secretary George Godia said the Madrassa system would be limited to pre­dominantly Muslim areas.

Prof Godia said pre-primary and Islamic religious education schools would be integrated into the formal system and students would get finan­cial assistance from the government.

“It will be the government’s duty to pay fees for these children. As part of the strategy to provide quality education, children will also be entitled to food while in school,” Prof Godia said.

Universal access

To ensure that all Kenyans have access to basic education, schools will not be allowed to send children home over fees arrears or force them to repeat classes and the Teachers Service Commission will provide teachers.

Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo said the proposals were in line with the Constitution and Vision 2030.

Members of Parliament approved the changes at a recent retreat in Naivasha.

Muslims clerics on Monday welcomed the move, saying it would help children access both Islamic and secular education under one roof.

“We are glad to hear that. In fact, that is a key component of the Lancaster House agreement between then Kenyan Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta and Zanzibari Sultan Mohammed Shamte in which the government agreed to Arabic speaking and Islamic studies,” Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya said.

Sheikh Khalifa called for a clause in the Bill that provides for Muslim girls to wear hijabs.

“The programme should also be applicable to areas where there are Muslim students but a majority of locals are people of other faiths. Currently, some schools in Taita Taveta County are forcing Muslim students to study Christian Religious Education,” he said.

Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims Coast branch chairman Sheikh Muhdhar Khitamy challenged the Kenya Institute of Education to consult other interested parties in order to successfully execute the programme.

“It is a good proposal, but without involving experts in Islamic education and the proper manpower to implement it, the programme is bound to fail. They need to consult different Muslim organisations and ask each of them to identity scholars to help them come up with a meaningful programme,” Sheikh Khitamy said.

The Bill also creates a National Education Board, whose officials will be competitively recruited by a panel comprising religious leaders, professionals, people with disabilities and teachers, among others.

Tanzania is facing the same pressure as Muslims, tirelessly, force the provision of the Islamic Court (Kadhi Courts) in the Proposed Constitution. Religious preference were set aside in the Proposed Constitution of The United Republic of Tanzania of 2014 to promote equality in the diversity of beliefs, to enable each sect enjoys the freedom of worship as guaranteed in both the existing and the Proposed constitutions to discourage discrimination.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tanzania to ban clerics, NGOs for political views

printable version

17 April 2015      By Peter Saramba Ongiri

The Tanzanian government has threatened to ban all religious institutions and NGOs whose leaders are found "meddling in politics."

"From April 20, the government will conduct a thorough vetting to know the religious institutions and NGOs [that are] meddling in politics," Home Affairs Minister Mathias Chikawe told The Anadolu Agency.

Tanzanian Christian and Muslim leaders have declared their intention to campaign for a "No" vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum.

In a strongly-worded statement issued in March, the heads of Tanzania's three main Christian churches attributed their collective position to the fact that the proposed constitution had been drafted in a way, which, they said, had lacked integrity.

Many Muslim leaders, for their part, have advised the faithful to vote against the draft charter unless the government introduces amendments to allow the use of Islamic courts for Muslims.

"Such announcements sound like religious leaders are engaging themselves in politics instead of preaching God's will to their followers," said Chikawe.

"It is a clear violation of the country's laws when religious leaders… order their followers not to vote for the proposed constitution or say how they should vote in a general election," he insisted.

"Religious leaders have a constitutional right to participate in politics as individuals," said the minister.

"But they should not use their spiritual leadership to convince followers to follow their wishes," he added.

The Tanzanian government had originally set April 30 for the referendum. The exercise, however, has since been postponed until further notice to allow the government to update voter registration lists.

The new constitution will come into effect if it is approved by more than half of the voters.

The country's main opposition parties have also called for rejecting the draft charter.

Opposition parties had boycotted the constituent assembly, which had endorsed the draft, accusing its chairman of pushing the debate in favor of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.


Leonard Mtaita, secretary-general of the Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT), said religious leaders would continue to stand for the truth – and all matters pertaining to the faithful and the national interest – without fear from government.

"Our institutions are there legally," he told AA.

"If the government thinks it's time to tie up religious institutions from fulfilling their spiritual and constitutional right to speak for common citizens, it should first amend the current laws allowing us to do what we have been doing," insisted Mtaita.

For his part, Sheikh Khamisi Mataka, secretary-general of the Muslim Clerics Association, said the government's threats were a sign of weakness.

"A sign of a failed state or government is when it threatens civil society and all those who raise their voices to alert the public about government wrongdoing," he told AA.

The Legal and Human Rights Center (LHRC), a local rights advocacy group, said the threat to ban religious institutions and NGOs reflected government fears regarding its ability to influence public opinion.

"The government knows how powerful religious groups and NGOs are when it comes to convincing the public," LHRC Director-General Helen Kijo-Bisimba told AA.

"Instead of doing better for public interests, the government is now resorting to threats," she fumed.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


                                       The building  of T.M.R.C is down after set on fire

The building  of the Tanzania Missionary Revival Church (T.M.R.C) at Kyabitembe Parish, Bukoba Urban Distict, Kagera region in Tanzania, at dawn of 12/3/2015 was set on fire by petrol by un identified people.

Host Pastor Emmanuel John Mwesiga said when the incident occurred no one was in the church. He estimated the total damage to tsh.40M /- (U$ 23,000). The same was reported at the Regional Cenral Police at Bukoba and filed no BUK/RB/2600/2015 of 13/3/2015.

The Kagera Region Police Commander, Henry Mwaibambe said, the police have arrested some suspects, although, he was not ready to disclose neither their names nor their number, and insisted to carry on with more investigation.

So far more than 170 adherents of the Tanzania Missionary Revival Church, use temporary tents during conducting services.

Attacks against Christians are increasing in Tanzania including Kagera region, despite the efforts of the government to control them.  

On Thursday, Oct. 9,2014 unknown attackers killed a Christian man by machete the late Dioniz Ng'wandu, 31, a secondary school teacher and  injured another Themistores, 25,  in the same district of  Bukoba in northwest Tanzania.  The two men were at overnight prayer-meeting at the Busimbe Parish of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God-P.A.G. 

 Bukoba is reported to be a Muslim-dominated town of about 100,000 situated on the shore of Lake Victoria bordering Kigoma, which also has a local reputation as a Centre for Islamist extremism.
So far some religious leaders and lay Christians have been killed, while others have been attacked by extremist Muslims wielding acid. Some of the perpetrators have been arrested and charged, yet their cases continue in courts.

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