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Tanzania Ends Ban of 4 Newspapers

Tanzania’s Minister for Data, Nape Nnauye, stated in a latest assembly with editors that the federal government has lifted the ban on the Mseto, Mawio, Mwanahalisi, and Tanzania Daima newspapers. This is a vital resolution, as freedom of media and expression in Tanzania has severely deteriorated since 2015 when the late President John Pombe Magufuli got here to energy.

Since 2015, authorities recurrently revoked the licenses of newspapers for publishing materials crucial of the federal government.

In 2016, the data ministry banned Mseto for reporting corruption allegations in Magufuli’s presidential marketing campaign. In 2017, they used the 2016 Media Companies Act to ban Mawio after it revealed an article linking former presidents with a mining contracts scandal. That very same yr, Mwanahalisi was banned for allegations it tarnished Magufuli’s title. In 2020 forward of the October elections, the ministry revoked the license of Tanzania Daima, whose proprietor is married to opposition chief Freeman Mbowe, over “extreme and repetitive nature of violations of the legal guidelines and the ethics of journalism.”  

The authorities have additionally recurrently harassed journalists, activists, and political opposition leaders. The federal government has additional didn’t adequately examine the disappearance of investigative journalist Azory Gwanda, who has been lacking since November 2017 when he was picked up by unidentified folks.

Though Nnauye instructed the editors on the February 10 assembly that the federal government is now able to work with the media, the authorities have to do extra to make sure freedom of media and expression in Tanzania. The authorities ought to begin by reviewing repressive provisions within the Media Companies Act, the Cybercrimes Act, and the Digital and Postal (On-line Content material) Laws, and shield journalists from bodily assaults and arbitrary arrests.

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