Tanzania President Warns of Rising Religious Tensions Before Referendum

Tanzania's president said tensions between Muslims and Christians were rising ahead of a constitutional referendum and elections and warned religious leaders against political meddling, saying this could stoke violence. Jakaya Kikwete told a meeting of religious leaders in a speech seen by Reuters on Sunday that the referendum slated for April 30 and presidential and parliamentary elections set for October had raised the specter of violence. Kikwete said their opposition to the proposed charter was probably meant as retaliation for his government's decision to present legislation that would allow Tanzanian courts to recognize verdicts from Islamic 'Kadhi' courts.