Authorities in Zanzibar have appealed to the public to remain calm following the assassination of a local Catholic priest early Sunday, saying the police force had swung into action searching for the murder suspects.
In a statement released by the Information Department, the Isles’ Minister of State in the Second Vice President’s Office, Mohamed Aboud, said the police have been instructed to carry out a thorough investigation and identify culprits for legal action.
According to the minister, Fr. Evaristitus Mushi of St. Joseph Church at Shangani was gunned down at Beit-El-Ras area in the vicinity of his church.
Meanwhile, Tanzanians have condemned the priest’s murder, expressing their shock and dismay over the incident on social networks.
According to some eyewitness accounts, Fr. Mushi was shot by two unidentified gunmen who were riding a motorcycle.
The motive for the killing is yet unknown, but there have been clashes between Christians and Muslims in Mainland Tanzania and the Isle in recent times.
According to some press accounts here, Wahhabism-influenced preachers seeking to radicalise Islam in East Africa have gained a foothold in Zanzibar, and their influence was believed to be behind recent incidents of religious intolerance in the country.