Category : Tanzania

(WSJ) Inside the World’s Most Blatant Covid-19 Coverup in Tanzania: Secret Burials, a Dead President

Tucked away in a northern suburb of this sprawling East African city is a burial site that is evidence of one of the world’s great coronavirus coverups.

At the Kondo graveyard in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, unmasked volunteers have been digging holes and felling trees to expand a compound that has tripled in size since last year. During the pandemic’s first wave, hazmat-suited government officials came at night to secretly bury the dead, graveyard workers and bereaved families said. Now, small groups of mourners gather for hasty ceremonies next to floral tributes.

Kondo’s gravediggers said those buried there since last year have one thing in common: All died as a result of the coronavirus, yet none were recorded as suffering from Covid-19. They said they know by speaking to the families and officials from the municipality.

“This is one of the government’s coronavirus cemeteries, but we’re not allowed to call it that,” said Said Ali Salum, a caretaker who has worked there so long that locals call him “Mzee Wa-Makaburi,” or Mr. Graveyard. “We used to bury one a week [before the pandemic], but over the past year we have reached 17 a day.”

Tanzania, a country famous for Serengeti safaris and a turquoise coastline, has engaged in a grim experiment with implications beyond its borders: denying the existence of Covid-19. How that is playing out offers clues on the hidden toll of the pandemic across the developing world.

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Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Tanzania

(TLS) Giles Foden on the salient ideas, elegant writing and ethical commitment of this year’s Nobel laureate, Abdulrazak Gurnah

ew announcements could give greater pleasure to followers of the broad church of African literature than that of the East African-born novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah as winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. We would all like to give the honorific Swahili greeting shikamoo – “I touch your feet” – but we can’t do that literally right now, and he wouldn’t like it anyway, I reckon, being a very self-effacing man, despite his great talent.

Born in 1948 on Zanzibar, then still a British colony, Gurnah came to the United Kingdom in 1968. This was the year of Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech and four years after the violent Zanzibar revolution that eventually led to the union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika as present-day Tanzania – a moment later dramatized in his debut novel, Memory of Departure (1987). He studied at Canterbury Christ Church University and earned a PhD at the University of Kent in 1982, before teaching for a few years at a university in northern Nigeria. He then returned to Kent, rising through troublesome academic ranks to become Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, until his retirement in November 2018, an occasion on which I was honoured to give a valedictory lecture. At the end of that peroration, I rashly predicted the likelihood of Nobel laurels. The best bet I never made. Gurnah’s academic work during this period, like that of his fellow laureate J. M. Coetzee, focused on colonial and post-colonial writing – branching out, when the field went mainstream, into some creative-writing tuition.

All through this time – the early part of which saw post-colonial writing going against the grain of predominantly white, neocolonial establishment authority – Gurnah was writing groundbreaking fiction. To date, he has produced ten novels that grapple with the subjects of the immigrant experience, displacement, memory and colonialism. These concerns – the transnational, the trauma narrative – are very current now, but they were just a speck on the horizon when Gurnah began developing his oeuvre. He was a prime mover in this respect, and that is part of what has catalysed this award. As the chair of the Nobel committee, Anders Olsson, remarked, “Gurnah has consistently and with great compassion penetrated the effects of colonialism in East Africa, and its effects on the lives of uprooted and migrating individuals”.

This element of compassion was clearly an important factor for the Nobel committee.

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Posted in Books, England / UK, History, Tanzania

(AI) Ecclesial chaos in Dar es Salaam

The Tanzanian Ministry of the Interior has declined to intervene in the dispute surrounding the forced retirement of the Bishop of Dar es Salaam. This week’s ruling strengthens the hand of the Primate of Tanzania, the Most Rev. Jacob Chimeledya in his dispute with the Bishop of Dar es Salaam, the Rt. Rev. Valentino Mokiwa (pictured). However, moves are afoot in the House of Bishops to impeach Archbishop Chimeledya and restore Dr. Mokowa to office.

In a letter dated 6 March 2017, the Registrar of Corporations in the Interior Ministry, Mr. M. L. Komba, told Archbishop Chimeledya “since the Anglican Church and the Diocese of Dar es Salaam are governed by constitutions, we have advised Dr. Mokiwa to convey his complaint on the existing dispute to an appellate tribunal within the church.”

The government’s decision leaves intact under civil law the 7 January 2017 deposition of Dr. Mokiwa for financial misconduct. However, a majority of bishops have come out against the archbishop. They have demanded he hold a meeting of the House of Bishops to address the dispute — a move the archbishop has so far declined to do, as a majority presently exists that could vote him out of office and restore Dr. Mokiwa.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Tanzania

(Tanzania Daily News) Anglican Church of Tanzania Hailed Over Marriage Stand

Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Bernard Membe has hailed the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) for standing firm and rejecting same sex marriages unlike some other churches in the West.

Mr Membe told the congregation that had gathered to mark the 50th anniversary of the Dar es Salaam Diocese in the city that he was encouraged when the church in Tanzania stood firm and stressed to its foreign counterparts that same sex marriages will not be allowed in this country.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Africa, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Tanzania, Theology

(CEN) Jerry Kramer–The 'Suffering of Iraqi Christians is beyond description’

The suffering of Iraqi Christian refugees fleeing the depredations of the Islamic State (ISIS) are beyond description, the vicar-general of the Diocese of Zanzibar reports following a visit to Kurdistan last week. The Rev Jerry Kramer writes: “Right now we’re processing all that we saw and experienced firsthand. Honestly, we don’t have the words at the moment. The suffering is so immense. The magnitude of the disaster is beyond comprehension.” Fr Kramer, who served as the rector of an Episcopal congregation in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and was one of the leaders in the grassroots campaign to rebuild the city, but currently is a missionary in Tanzania with Love for the Least ministries stated: “Christians were given 48 hours to leave their homes. “Some paid to stay or converted to Islam.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Tanzania, Terrorism, Violence

(Morningstar News) Churches Targeted in Bomb Attacks in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Suspected Islamic extremists bombed three church buildings on Tanzania’s semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar in February, with one of the blasts injuring several Christians, sources said.

A bomb exploded near the door of the Evangelistic Assemblies of God Zanzibar (EAGZ) church building on Feb. 23 in Kijito Upele-Fuoni, outside Zanzibar City, just before the end of the service at about 1:15 p.m., according to area Christian leader Lucian Mgaywa.

The loud explosion shook the building on the island 16 miles (25 kilometers) off the coast of Tanzania, a church member said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Tanzania, Theology, Violence

Bomb blasts at Zanzibar's Anglican cathedral and tourist bar: Police

Two homemade bombs exploded on Monday on the popular Indian Ocean tourist island of Zanzibar, but with no casualties, police said, in the latest in a series of attacks.

“Investigations are ongoing to find out details of the blasts and the motive behind them,” assistant police commissioner Mkadam Khamis told reporters.

One blast took place at the Anglican cathedral, a historic building in the heart of the narrow and winding ancient streets of Stone Town, the UNESCO-listed historical centre of the capital of the semi-autonomous Tanzanian archipelago.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Tanzania, Theology, Violence

(Local Paper Faith and Values Section) Water Missions creates safe water program in Tanzania

Water Missions International is reaching communities in Tanzania with sustainable, comprehensive safe water solutions by establishing a new country program called Water Missions International ”” Tanzania.

The program, headquartered in Dar es Salaam, serves as the field office for all safe water projects within Tanzania and potential projects in surrounding nations. Tanzania is Water Missions’ 10th country program.

The Charleston-based nonprofit’s country programs function as field offices with nongovernmental organization status in selected countries where native, full-time Water Missions staff members facilitate projects. Staff often travel to neighboring nations to implement additional projects and disaster responses.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Africa, Missions, Science & Technology, Tanzania

(Anglican Ink) Zanzibar Cathedral awarded restoration grant

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Tanzania

(RNS) Zanzibar acid attack tied to growing religious tensions

An acid attack on a Roman Catholic priest in Zanzibar is heightening fears of increased religious tensions on the Tanzanian islands, where Christian clergy, churches and some Muslim leaders are being targeted.

On Sept. 13, the Rev. Anselm Mwang’amba, 61, suffered burns on his face, chest and arms when acid was thrown at him as he left an Internet cafe. The attack came barely a month after acid was thrown on two British teenage tourists, Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee.

“We are urging Christians not to retaliate,” said the Rev. Cosmas Shayo, diocesan chancellor. “We are depending on the police for security. They say action has been taken, but we are not satisfied since the attacks are continuing.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Tanzania, Theology, Violence

(BBC) Tanzanian Muslim cleric Ponda Issa Ponda arrested

A controversial Tanzanian Muslim cleric has been arrested for stoking religious hatred, police have said.

Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda’s arrest comes after Muslim protesters vandalised and torched five churches in the main city, Dar es Salaam, last week.

The violence followed rumours that a Christian boy urinated on a Koran.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Tanzania

(CEN) Tanzanian Archbishop calls for government to return nationalised schools

Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa has urged a leading candidate for president to promise to return to the church mission schools nationalized by the government.

Speaking at a school fundraising event on 24 Oct 2011 in Dar es Salaam, Dr. Mokiwa asked Edward Lowassa MP to return the schools if he wins the presidency. Elections are scheduled in the east African nation in 2015 to succeed President Jakaya Kikwete. While Mr. Lowassa has not formally announced his candidacy, he is considered a front runner for the post.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Education, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Tanzania

(CDN) Muslims Seize Christian Burial Sites in Tanzania

Influential Muslims on this East African island have begun building what appears to be a hotel on a 100-year-old burial site owned by an Anglican church, Christian leaders said.

Church leaders with ownership papers for the land told Compass they are disturbed that authorities have taken no action since they filed a police complaint in December about the seizure of the burial site three kilometers (nearly two miles) from Zanzibar city’s airport. Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago, including the largest island of Zanzibar (officially known as Unguja), is 99.9 percent Muslim.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Tanzania

(ACNS/All Africa) Nineteen Anglican Bishops Gather in Tanzania and then Release Joint Statement

In a joint statement issued after a “Consultation of Bishops in Dialogue” meeting held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania the church leaders said they had shared testimonies about partnership mission work. Through this a common thread had emerged “our experience of finding ourselves in each other.”

“Across the globe, across the Communion, we actually really need one another,” the bishops’ statement said. “We are stronger in relationship than when we are apart. This, we believe, is a work of engaging in Communion building rather than Communion breaking. In the words of the Toronto Congress of 1963 we are engaged in living in ‘mutual responsibility and interdependence’ (Ephesians 2:13-22)”.

The bishops hailed from Sudan, Botswana, Malawi, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Canada, the United States and England. They met at the end of February as a group of partner pairs and triads and discussed a range of issues including human sexuality, slavery and tackling poverty.

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Update: An ENS article appears here also.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Burundi, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Kenya, Lambeth 2008, Tanzania

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania voices a big `no' to same-sex marriages

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) has distanced itself from the recognition of same-sex marriages by Lutheran churches in the US and Sweden.

The head of the ELCT, Bishop Alex Malasusa, said during his Easter Mass sermon at the Azania Front Church in Dar es Salaam that the local church did not support the decision because it was against God’s word.

He said Lutheran churches in the US and Sweden had strayed from the Scriptures, and it was up to Africa to bring them back into line.

“ELCT has refused to recognise the decision to allow same-sex marriages because it is against the Holy Bible. It is in direct contravention of God’s word, which has not changed,” Bishop Malasusa said.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Lutheran, Other Churches, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Tanzania