Moshi, 30 September, 2022 / 9:00 pm (ACI Africa).
Fr. Sostenes Bahati Soka, a member of the Clergy of Tanzania’s Catholic Diocese of Moshi, has been stopped from practicing his Priestly ministry over allegations of sodomizing a section of children who were preparing for their First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
On Monday, September 26, Fr. Soka appeared before three judges at the Resident Magistrate's Court in Moshi, facing three counts of sexually assaulting three children, two of them aged 12 and another aged 13, all three at St. Dionysius the Areopagite Parish of Moshi Diocese where he was Parish Priest, The Citizen, a Tanzanian media entity, has reported.
“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,” The Citizen reported Tuesday, September 27, adding, “It is claimed that the clergyman would give each child between Sh3,000 (US$1.28) and Sh5,000 (2.14) at the end of his exploits.”
In its Thursday, September 29 report, The Citizen quotes the Secretary General of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), Fr. Charles Kitima, announcing the decision of the Local Ordinary of Moshi Diocese, Bishop Ludovick Joseph Minde, to suspend Fr. Soka.
“For now, the Bishop has stopped him from providing priestly services until the court makes its decision. After that, other decisions about his priesthood will be made,” Fr. Kitima has been quoted as saying in the September 29 report.