john magufuli

Journalists Voice Ban On Newspapers Unfair, Unlawful

Activists and journalists in Tanzania are now concerned over press freedom following the fourth newspaper ban since June this year. They have urged President John Magufuli lately to overturn the decision and allow Tanzania Daima newspaper to start publication.

Authorities accuse the opposition-leaning newspaper has been spreading false information continuously.

Tanzania Daima paper has a daily circulation of 30,000 and it last published an incorrect claim about number of people in the country taking anti-retroviral drugs used in the HIV treatment.

The government’s ban decision was unlawful and unfair, said acting managing editor of the paper, Martin Malera.

He added, “We put an apology on the front page of our paper on Monday, and they still took the decision to ban our paper.”

Director-general of Tanzania’s Information Services, Hassan Abbasi, said the government had warned the newspaper on several occasions over false news.

John Magufuli became president in October 2015 and since then he has taken several strict actions against people and companies including banning newspapers and radio stations.

He even has stopped live transmission of parliamentary debates.

Earlier, the government announced a permanent ban on the print and online edition of weekly newspaper Mawio. Two of its editors, Jabir Idrissa and Simon Mkina, were then briefly detained too.

Authorities alleged the paper carried carried an article that incited violence.

According to distributor of the paper, Saed Kubenea, the newspaper was banned after publishing several artices about Zanzibar’s political unrest.

Under the 1976 Newspapers Act Tanzanian authorities have all the rights to ban publications.