FULL TEXT: MISA Zimbabwe Raise Concerns Over Media Freedom In Tanzania

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe has raised concerns over the media freedom in Tanzania following a ban on covering of foreign media outlets.

Such a move by the government is to affect partner broadcasters of several international media outlets.

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The Tanzanian government recently issued strict laws on local media houses, banning them from covering content from foreign media houses, requiring them to seek permission from government first.

Further imposing that local media houses should apply for a separate license, which will allow them to broadcast content from foreign media.

The ban came a few weeks after social media protests were banned in the country.

In a statement on Wednesday MISA noted that the move clamps down on freedom of expression and media freedom.

“ A disturbing trend is developing in Tanzania, where media freedom is continuously on the decline, with authorities coming up with arbitrary regulations to curtail the operations of the press.”

“This is probably meant to give the incumbent, President John Magufuli an advantage in the forthcoming elections, but it will also do irreparable harm to Tanzania’s democracy credentials,” MISA said.

According to MISA Tanzania is set to hold elections in October and this ban could be an instrument to infringe media freedom and coverage.

“Tanzania is due to hold elections in October and this latest directive could be designed to muzzle free media and also ensure that the opposition does not receive due media coverage.”

“It is critical that towards, during and after elections, the media is allowed to operate freely while the opposition also gets coverage to enable voters to make informed decisions and choices.”

Media freedom has since been limited across the continent, with infringing media laws limiting media freedom, freedom of expression particularly in Zimbabwe, with the existence of laws like the recent freedom of information bill.

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