Preacher in whose church 20 were killed in stampede released from custody
Tanzanian preacher Boniface Mwamposa has been released on bail after he was arrested following the death of 20 worshippers in his church in a stampede on Sunday in Moshi.
The stampede occurred when Mwamposa, who calls himself the “Apostle”, poured what he said was holy oil on the ground and the crowd surged forward to touch it in the hope of being cured of sickness, witnesses said.
Five of those who lost their lives were children.
Mwamposa was arrested alongside seven other suspects though the charges against him were not revealed.
He was arrested in Dar es Salaam, about 540km (335 miles) away from Moshi, where he had gone to preach in another branch of his church.
Interior Minister George Simbachawene blamed the church of not taking sufficient precautions and of violating the terms of its permit for the meeting, which ran two hours later than planned.
Confirming the release of the preacher, Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Anna Mghwira said police have gathered preliminary information and investigations are ongoing.