Press Statement From The US Embassy about the Priest Killings

The United States of America strongly condemns the senseless murder of Father Evaristus Mushi in Zanzibar on February 17. We offer sincere condolences to his family, parishioners, and friends.
The Late Priest Evaristus Mushi
U.S. Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt 

This vicious and cowardly act is the third directed against a religious leader in Zanzibar since November 2012 and goes against the long held values and culture of peace in Zanzibar, a land known for its cultural richness, tolerance, and diversity, where many peoples and cultures have lived and worked side by side for centuries.

Religious based violence is crime that has no place in Tanzania or anywhere else. In fact, it goes against the very character that Tanzania has been known for since its founding and the three national pillars carefully nurtured by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, which are also forever enshrined in the national anthem of this land: Hekima, Umoja, na Amani - Wisdom, Unity, and Peace.

The people of Zanzibar and all Tanzanians should reject the violent hatred spread by a very few individuals whose actions threaten to tarnish the peace, security, and image of this wonderful land.

The United States stands as a committed partner to all citizens of this land and we urge them to continue to denounce violence committed by those who threaten and undermine the security of their fellow citizens. We also stand ready to assist the Tanzanian justice system as needed, and call for the arrest, prosecution and conviction of those responsible for these heinous crimes against religious leaders in Zanzibar.

Finally, we call on all citizens to build on the values of tolerance, wisdom, unity, and peace that are so cherished by all Tanzanians and civilized people of the world.

Press statement by

U.S. Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt in Tanzania