The Tanzanian government has banned a weekly newspaper from making any publication for 24 months after publishing a damning article on two former presidents.
The Mawio newspaper published a story on its frontpage on Wednesday linking former Presidents Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete to an ongoing dispute crippling the mining sector.
“I have been left with no other option than to use powers conferred on me by the Information Services Act to impose a ban on Mawio from publication for the next 24 months,” Minister of Information Dr Harrison Mwakyembe said in letter to Mawio cited by local media.
The paper has also been barred from online publications including social media, reports indicate.
Media should stop tarnishing their reputation. They have done a great work in serving this country. We should let them rest.
The sanctions follows a warning by President John Magufuli who ordered that no damning reports should be written about the former presidents on the mining dispute.
“Media should stop tarnishing their reputation. They have done a great work in serving this country. We should let them rest,” the president was quoted by local media The Citizen.
The Magufuli-led government has assumed a no-nonsense approach towards the media and those who use the media to attack the government’s integrity.
In late March, popular Tanzanian rapper Emmanuel Elibariki also known as “ Nay wa Mitego” was arrested for releasing a song which is critical of the government.
He was later released on the orders of the president.
Days before his arrest, President John Magufuli sacked his Information Minister Nape Nnauye without notice.
Nape Nnauye’s sack was effected a day after a report was released by an inquiry he set up to investigate Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda who was accused of storming the studios of a private radio and television station with armed policemen to threatened workers over a television programme.
President Magufuli had earlier rejected calls by the public to dismiss the regional commissioner for his action.
By Africafrique and agencies