CHURCH FORBID MEMBERS FROM VOTING

Author: PETI SIYAME  
AfricaPress-Tanzania: MORE than 2,000 eligible electorate from Watch Tower Church would not vote in the coming October 28 General Election, because their faith considers as a grave sin before God.

The church located at Katika area in the Lake Tanganyika shores at Kasanga Ward in Kalambo District, Rukwa region, equally in the last local government elections held countrywide on November 24 lasdid not allow the faithful to indulge in such exercise, citing it as contrary to their church dogma(s).

Ironically, the church’s global headquarters sells it as a “Vatican City” and when contacted for comment via the phone, the Kalambo District Commissioner (DC) Mr Calorious Misungwi, confirmed to have heard of its existence.

“Accompanied by members of the Security and Defence Committee, I will visit them soon…though voting is voluntary, but once I go there I’ll sensitize them on the importance of voting and also ask them to turn out in big numbers on October 28,” added the DC.

A survey conducted by the ‘Daily News’ established that although the church was established in 2006, it had never been officially registered by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Spiritual Head of the Church is popularly known as “Holy Pope” whose followers are estimated to be more than 6,000 .

As church tradition, investigated by this paper, its followers normally come as far as Zambia for a joint Nativity of Jesus Christ annual celebration on October 1st and New Year marked on April 14 in Kitika area.

In Tanzania, according to their church records, it was established more than a decade ago by a citizen, Rev Enock Sindani who was its first pontiff.

However, impeccable information collected from reliable sources indicated that the founder was no longer living in Tanzania, but working in the United States.

The sitting Pontiff Rev Jonas Simulunga told this newspaper over phone interview  that with their more than 2,000 followers from Tanzania, some who are dedicated spiritual leaders would not participate in the October 28 General Election, because voting is a sin in their realm.

“Besides voting as church tradition, we are not allowed to join or support any political party, because according to church teachings we can not serve two masters simultaneously….also we are not allowed to vote in any elections.

“We regard politicians as liars and lying is a big sin, and elections are always reported to be rigged, and for us it is a sin to solicit and receive bribes. Our Church is governed by Ten Commandments of God, which all church followers, regardless of status must adhere to,” further said Pontiff Rev Simulunga.

One of the officials, who preferred to remain anonymous, stated that voting was voluntary, adding that no individual would be compelled to do so.

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