12 arrested in Zanzibar for eating in public during Ramadhan

Police in Zanzibar’s Mjini Magharibi region arrested 12 individuals for eating and drinking in public during the daytime in the month of Ramadhan, a time of fasting for Muslims.

Zanzibar, with a predominantly Muslim population, enforces regulations based on Islamic principles during Ramadhan for both locals and visitors.

The Acting Regional Police Commander, Abubakar Khamis Ally, mentioned that the arrests were made after an investigation prompted by a circulated video showing people eating during daylight hours in Mnazi Mmoja Square, violating the fasting norms of Ramadhan.

Eating in public during daylight hours in Ramadhan is considered an offense, leading to the individuals being held at Madema police station pending completion of investigation procedures, after which they will face court proceedings.

However, the police chief warned that the police force will continue to arrest anyone found eating publicly during the daytime in this holy month of Ramadhan.

ACP Ally was quoted saying, “During this month of Ramadhan, as per the customs of this island, even food establishments are closed. Therefore, it is not appropriate for individuals to sit in public places and eat openly; this is an offense, and that’s why we are arresting them and will continue to do so because it causes inconvenience to others.”

The 12 people who have been arrested for this offense of eating publicly during daytime are Issa Hamad Juma (40) from Kikwajuni, Hamad Hamis Indole (25) from Mtwara, Hashimu Bakari Nassoro (35) from Kwarara; and Selemani Ismail Nalinga (34) from Magogoni, among others.

All these individuals are currently under custody at Madema Police Station, and investigation procedures are ongoing to prepare them for court proceedings.

Meanwhile, the Zanzibar Tourism Commission, in its public statement, has announced that it has fined the company Organisateur Francophone Tours and Travel a fine of $500 for violating the Commission’s guidelines and allowing tourists to eat in public during this holy month of Ramadhan.

The official statement from the Commission outlined the following: “Despite issuing guidelines and directives for tourism businesses to follow, the company allowed guests to eat in public. Therefore, the Commission has taken the following actions: imposed a fine of $500 and immediately suspended the tour guide of the company, Khamis M. Kahogo, from conducting any tourism activities for three months.”

“The Zanzibar Tourism Commission emphasizes the importance of respecting the customs and traditions of the islands of Zanzibar, especially during the Ramadhan period, to promote good relations with the surrounding communities,” the statement further elaborated

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