Interior Minister Hamad Masauni has warned institutions, organizations and religious leaders who use religion to promote things that violate Tanzanian values, traditions and practices.
He also urged religious institutions and organizations to seek resolution of disputes by reviewing the constitutions of these institutions rather than spending time and resources dealing with dispute resolution rather than serving the faithful.
Masauni made the remarks in Dar es Salaam yesterday at a meeting with the leaders of the federations and religious councils, which aimed to discuss a range of issues including improving cooperation between the government and religious institutions in the country.
He said there had been a challenge to the establishment of religious institutions without following the law and said the Community Act Chapter 337 requires each group or community to be registered so that it can operate.
"But all of them are now witnesses that there are many institutions in our society that are operating without registration and even their operation is suspicious.
I call on you to help each other in educating and the community about the importance of registering communities and groups," he said.
He said that when it appears there are communities or religious groups whose conduct is suspicious, it is best that the public work with the Registrar's Office to identify such communities to keep the community safe and peaceful.
In response to a question about a religious leader who calls himself Zumaridi who preaches while calling himself God, he admitted that he is one of the religious institutions that operate unregistered.
"There have been institutions that have emerged without even being registered including the one you mention, it has not been registered. "It's someone out there saying he's a religious leader, some you find he is encouraging gay things another says he's another God is talking strange things," Masauni said.
He said the practice was against the law, the values of the country and the traditions and customs of Tanzania. "So, we will continue to fight it, it is as if the police force if someone steals it will be arrested, so the leaders or religious institutions who use the religion against morality will be taken into account," he explained.
He said that under the law, registered religious institutions receive sponsorship from existing mother or father, so new institutions cannot be sponsored without such institutions and explained that it is the responsibility of the institutions that provide the guarantees to satisfy themselves.