Tanzania has once again banned a newspaper. This time it is Raia Mwema, an weekly tabloid. The publisher has been barred from publishing it for 90 days.
It is learned the article titled ‘Uraisi Utamshinda John Magufuli’ had an issue and was the reason to face the ban. The title in English mean ‘John Magufuli’s presidency doomed to fail.’
According to a statement issued by the Director of Information Services, Dr Hassan Abbas, some parts of the article quoting the president were cooked even though the other parts were a fair comment.
The communique said, “The tabloid has been warned repeatedly in the past.”
The outlawing of Raia Mwema was in accordance with Section 59(2) of the Information Services Act, 2016, which provide powers to the Minister of Information to ban newspapers.
The ban has also been confirmed by Raia Mwema Board Chairman Janerali Ulimwengu citing the said article was the reason.
Ulimwengu said, “We have been told that, the reason for the ban was our Wednesday’s story and others which were published in 2013. Right now I’m consulting other members to see a way forward.”
Just about ten days ago the government had banned another weekly tabloid named Mwanahalisi for two years.
According to Director General of Information Services and the Chief Government Spokesperson, Hassan Abbas, the publication had no strong arguments to defend themselves when asked about the published story that violated journalism in the country.
In 2012 too the government tried shutting down the tabloid but the court ruled it as illegal.