Tanzania Bans Weekly Newspaper Mawio For Covering Political Crisis Of Zanzibar

Tanzania has announced Friday a permanent ban the print as well as online edition of weekly newspaper Mawio. Two of its editors, Jabir Idrissa and Simon Mkina, were briefly detained too.

According to the information minister Nape Nnauye, the weekly newspaper has been banned under the 1976 Media Act, Government Announcement 55. It is alleged articles in it have incited violence.

In one of the articles the newspaper declared opposition candidate as the winner in Zanzibar presidential elections. A headline in it said unrest is coming to the island.

Zanzibar is an autonomous body of Tanzania and elections in it are often contentious. In October 2015 the Zanzibar Electoral Commission annulled the polls after the opposition party declared victory.

Chairman of Tanzania Editors Forum, Absalom Kibanda, said the two editors were questioned by police about the coverage of Zanzibar in the paper. The two have also been ordered to report to a local police station every day until further notice though no formal charges have been filed against them.

Kibanda said the ban on the newspaper as well as arrests of the editors is disappointing.

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

Other reports write the newspaper was warned several times before it was banned permanently.

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

Just recently a year-long ban was lifted on the distribution of a weekly regional newspaper The East African.

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