AfricaPress-Tanzania: RELIGIOUS leaders from Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar have called upon Tanzanians to rally behind President John Magufuli and Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi, to build the nation, insisting that it is now time to move on.
They made the call when they met in Dar es Salaam for a thanksgiving event, during which they said after concluding the election, Tanzanians must now focus on development activities.
The meeting which attracted religious leaders, including top clerics such as Zanzibar Mufti Sheikh Khalid Alli Mfaume and Full Gospel Bible Fellowship (FGBF) Bishop Zacharia Kakobe, they called on the public to embrace peace as an integral aspect in nation building.
The event which came only two days after completion of the General Election process was meant to express gratitude to the Almighty God for leading Tanzanians in the entire election process, an exercise that ended peacefully.
In their sermons and messages, the religious leaders urged Tanzanians to support the elected leaders for the country to continue enjoying the prevailing peace and national unity.
In the congress held on Saturday at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC), the religious leaders expressed the importance of Tanzanians refraining from indulging in any form of acts that may ignite violence.
Their views echoed messages in remarks made by the two leaders shortly after inauguration ceremonies that called upon Tanzanians to focus on productive activities with the purpose of building up the country’s economy.
Speaking during the event, the Mufti of Zanzibar, Sheikh Saleh Al Kaabi called on Tanzanians to continue living in harmony for the greater interests of the nation and keep faith in the Almighty God who is the provider of everything in the world.
He also insisted on Tanzanians continuing to respect and pray for their leaders for the country’s prosperity.
“Our country has been blessed by having good leaders and citizens, and for both sides of the Union to progress well, we need to continue respecting each other and stick to the development agenda,” he said.
Sheikh Kaabi also recalled the power of prayers that helped in the fight against Covid-19 in Tanzania. The idea of having national prayers against the global pandemic was issued by President Magufuli.
For his part, Bishop Kakobe of the Full Gospel Bible Fellowship Church said there is no need for violence after election since the country has got leaders who scooped the majority votes.
“It has been our wish and prayers that we have peaceful elections, and eventually good leaders. The Lord has responded to our prayers, and we must be thankful for that,” said Bishop Kakobe, adding that all that is needed now is to support the leaders because they have been elected democratically by the majority of Tanzanians, saying this will also promote peace and unity in the country.
The leader of Budhists in Tanzania, Pannasekara Thero on the other hand commended the country for maintaining peace and unity, aspects which he said have served as the cornerstone of recorded development.
“I have visited around 100 countries in the world, only to find out that Tanzania is one the most peaceful countries, and I urge everyone not to take it for granted but continue to protect it to the maximum,” he noted.
According to him, the peace that Tanzanians are enjoying is the result of having committed leaders who are well focused on protecting unity and harmony that has been there since independence.
His views were seconded by Reverend Anny Fernandez of the Agape Life Church, who also commended the National Electoral Commission (NEC) for ensuring that the election is done in a peaceful manner.
“NEC and the police force were so professional to ensure the polling exercise is conducted peacefully, Tanzanians should not be divided in any way by individuals who don’t want to see the country’s progress,” he explained.
During his speech, President Magufuli vowed to honour the oath he took and serve all Tanzanians regardless of their political ideologies, tribes, colour or religions.
“I promise to cooperate with all Tanzanians in building up our nation. My government will not sideline anyone, we will all work together as a nation,” he said.
He added that his government will also work on all promises given during election campaigns and those in the ruling party’s election manifesto.