A Catholic priest in Moshi, Sostenes Soka, who was being held by the police has been arraigned today, September 26, at the Resident Magistrate’s Court in Tanzania for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting more than 10 children. He was arrested on September 20.
The children are pupils whose identity has been protected are in Standard Six and Form One who were attending the teachings for the first communion and confirmation.
It is claimed that every time the clergyman gave each of the children between TSh3,000 and TSh5,000 at the end of his exploits.
While the Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander, Simon Maigwa, has not confirmed or denied the arrest of the priest, the Regional Commissioner, Nurdin Babu has confirmed the incident saying “it is a disgraceful incident”.
The event, which is the first in the Kilimanjaro region involving a large number of pupils, has raised alarm for parents who had planned to march to the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa’s office.
It is believe that the parents had planned the demonstration because the authorities had developed cold feet to arrest the ‘man of God’ who had become a threat in their midst.
It was only after the Police had got wind of the planned demonstration that they arrested the priest on September 20, a day before the Prime Minister’s visit.
“We cannot confirm whether he has been arrested or not, but it is something that we are continuing to investigate to get to the root of the issue, because these are allegations that are being levied against a church leader,” said the RPC, Simon Maigwa.
According to reliable sources after the parents found out that their children were subjected to such acts, they reported to the relevant agencies including the leadership of the Catholic Church, Moshi and the Police.