was later released on the order of President Magufuli who allowed the song to
be played in the media.

There was an onslaught against the media throughout 2017 in the form of warnings and suspensions, most of which fell
under the 2016 Media Services Act.
During June 2017, the Minister of Information, Sports and Culture, Dr Harrison
Mwakyembe imposed a 24 months ban
on Mawio’s print edition and articles
posted online that linked two former
presidents (Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya
Kikwete) to reports related to an investigation into allegations of misconduct in
the mining sector.
Publishers of Mawio were accused of
contravening a presidential directive
that was being issued at the same time
that the newspaper was published and
distributed. The minister’s statement cited Section 55 of the Media Services Act,
which allows the minister to “prohibit
or otherwise sanction the publication
of any content that jeopardizes national
security or public safety.”
In September Director of Information
Services, Dr Hassan Abbas announced
the 2 years suspension of a weekly tabloid, MwanaHalisi, under Section 50 of
the Media Services Act, which allows
authorities to shut down media organisations that publish ‘seditious publications’. The ban was based on an article
which authorities considered an insult
to the president. Abbas further stated
the newspaper had been warned many
times for its content which authorities
deemed “seditious”.
Just ten days after suspending MwanaHalisi, another popular weekly tabloid
Raia Mwema including its online ver-


So This is Democracy? 2017

sion, suffered the same fate and was
banned for 90 days for publishing an article supposedly insulting the president.
The government, according to the statement issued, insisted that the paper was
entitled to fair comment; however the
analysis had contained many unfounded quotes implicating the president.
Four weeks later, a daily tabloid Tanzania Daima suffered a similar fate. A
90 days ban was issued for publishing
a story that misquoted the Minister of
Health and allegedly misled the public. Both the offline and online versions
were suspended.
During the period under review, publications were pushed to re-register in
order to comply with the requirements
of the Media Services Act. By 31 December 2017 a total of 168 publications
including newspapers, journals and
magazines had been registered.

On 2 January 2018, the Tanzania
Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) fined five television stations
each between Tshs 7.5 million (USD
3375) and Tshs 15 million (USD 6750)
for “offensive and unethical” broadcasting. The five TV stations,- namely Azam
Two TV, Independent Television (ITV),
Channel 10, Star TV and East African
TV (EATV) - aired a press statement issued by the Legal Human Rights Centre
(LHRC) on 30 November. In its statement the LHRC alleged that human
rights violations took place during the
ward councillors’ by-elections on 26
November 2017.
Throughout the year Clouds FM was on
the receiving end of most warnings and
fines by authorities.
In July 2017, the presenter of the ‘Najua

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