Secretary of the Council of Islamic Organisations in Tanzania Sheikh Issa Ponda speaks during a press conference in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday. With him is Twalib Hassan.
By Witness Robert
Dar Es Salam — The police have given secretary of the Council of Islamic Organisations in Tanzania Sheikh Issa Ponda three days to surrender himself for allegedly uttering seditious and abusive language.
Speaking to reporters in his office yesterday, Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander (RPC) Lazaro Mambosasa said Sheikh Ponda committed the offence on Wednesday during a press conference.
According to the RPC, the cleric’s language ridiculed the government. Mr Mambosasa added that he had to surrender himself between Thursday and Saturday or else he would find himself’ in serious trouble.
“I advise Sheikh Ponda to surrender himself because even if he runs away it won’t help him because we will arrest him,” said Mr Mambosasa.
He added: “He knew he was breaking the law, when he uttered seditious words now he should be ready to face legal action.”
However, Mr Mambosasa didn’t disclose the exact words uttered by Sheikh Ponda.
The cleric has been finding himself in trouble on several occasions following his public utterances.
In December 2016, he was set free after staying in remand prison for more than two years over charges of incitement and instigating religious hatred. Meanwhile, the police killed two suspected bandits in Kimara, Dar es Salaam, on Wednesday at about 8pm.
They were killed by the police on routine patrol, according to Mr Mambosasa at Kwa Magalula in Mbezi on the outskirts of the city.
“The police were called by a mobile money service shop operator after two suspicious men went to his shop. The police arrived there and started exchanging fire, hence killing the suspects,” he told reporters.