TANZANIA: Church Leaders Call for Religious and Ethnic Tolerance ahead of Polls

DAR ES SALAAM OCTOBER 6 2015(CISA)-Church leaders have called upon Tanzanians to stay away from politicians who may want to divide them on religious and ethnic lines as the October 25 general elections approaches.

“Beware of politicians who aim at dividing the population on the basis of a religious or ethnic group in order to obtain electoral advantage,” warned the Episcopal Conference of Tanzania and Christians Council of Tanzania (CCT) in a joint statement sent to Fides October 6.

The church leaders urged Tanzanians “not to let anyone treat you as a commodity, to buy you to breach peace,” noting that, despite the different political visions, the people of Tanzania must remember to be part of a single nation and a single Country.

“Those who make peace in this nation are the same Tanzanians, and to safeguard peace for its prosperity and future generations should be their priority,” concludes the leaders.

The front runners for the presidential race to succeed President Jakaya Kikwete,who is stepping down after the constitutional two-term limit include Dr John Magufuli, candidate for the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and ex-prime minister Edward Lowassa, who recently defected from the CCM to the opposition Chadema, heading a coalition of parties.

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