Dodoma. Chonga lawmaker Salum Mohamed Shafi (ACT-Wazalendo) yesterday pleaded with President John Magufuli to pardon Islamic revival clerics who have been detained for eight years.

The MP wanted the President to use his powers as he did recently by pardoning undocumented Ethiopian national, saying the Zanzibaris could also benefit from the Head of State’s presidential pardons and be reunited with their families.

President Magufuli recently announced the release of 1,789 Ethiopian nationals from various prisons in the country during a visit by Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde.

Contributing yesterday on Dr Magufuli’s speech given on inauguration of the 12th Parliament on November 13, 2020, the MP said the suffering the sheikhs have undergone in prison was enough.

The MP said the act of detaining the victims without good reason and being told every time investigations were ongoing was oppression.

Mr Shafi initially began by questioning why the case was opened in Tanzania Mainland when Zanzibar had a high court with the powers to prosecute and hear their cases.

He said the move casts doubt on the Union that President Magufuli vowed to protect and maintain.

“However, I do not want to interfere in the affairs of the judiciary… If they have failed to convict them why should our President, who is responsive, humble and advocate of the oppressed not pardon these people as he did for the Ethiopians recently?” he asked.

Commenting on the new constitution, he said it was important to get it now as it could end the conflicts that arise during elections where he noted that there have been more noise and complaints.

According to Mr Shafi, during the election period, there was what he called the human rights abuses in the country which he claimed could not be resolved in any way without the existence of a new constitution.

He explained that in parliament everyone knows how he got in and therefore there was no reason to continue questioning whether justice existed or not at the moment.


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