- Published on Friday, 09 August 2013 03:18
- Written by FAUSTINE KAPAMA
- Hits: 2494
THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dr Eliezer Feleshi, has called for the arrest of the Secretary of the Council of Islamic Organisation, Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda, for disobeying a lawful court order.
Sheikh Ponda was in May, convicted of forcible entry into a plot by the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam. He was given a oneyear suspended jail term and directed to refrain from taking part in incitement activities likely to lead to breach of the peace in the country.
Dr Feleshi noted that recent reports have it that the cleric is engaged in organising religious gatherings in Zanzibar, which threatened peace in the Isles. “Such a behaviour is intolerable,” the DPP said in an interview with the ‘Daily News’ on Wednesday.
He added: “We hope the police will exercise their powers wisely to arrest Sheikh Ponda and take him to court for penal actions.” Dr Feleshi said what Sheikh Ponda was currently doing was contrary to his sentence. “He was convicted of a similar offence, but was still conducting acts that threaten the public order and concord.
This is not acceptable. We cannot let one disobey court orders and go on unpunished,” he said. Counsel for Sheikh Ponda Juma Nassoro was not reached for comment on the matter.
Reports from Zanzibar have it that police are tracing Sheikh Ponda’s whereabouts. He is alleged to have called on the citizens to initiate strikes against the government. Zanzibar Commissioner of Police, Mussa Ali Mussa was reported to have said that Ponda’s statements breached police directives to religious leaders to avoid giving messages which threaten the country’s peace.
The police in the Isles arrested five persons who reportedly gave shelter to the controversial Muslim Sheikh. They were interrogated for hosting Ponda.
Sheikh Ponda, according to the police, had requested the believers to be ready to fight for their rights and stressed that they should soldier on.
Adjourning the Zanzibar House of Reps budget session for 2013/2014, the Second Vice-President, Amb. Seif Ali Iddi announced a ban for Sheikh Ponda to set his foot in the Isles for the purpose of inciting the people. Amb. Iddi warned that the government should not be blamed for serious measures that would take against leaders of such calibre.