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Tanzania Bans Domestic Broadcasters From Airing Foreign-made Content Without State Permission

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President John Magufuli. PHOTO/ COURTESY

The Tanzanian government has banned all domestic licensed broadcasters from carrying foreign-made content without state permission.

The new directive is part of the revised guidelines issued by the country’s Communications Regulatory Authority.

After obtaining permission to air content from international media houses like BBC, DW and CNN, the authority details that the licensed broadcasters will take responsibility for any content deemed “unsuitable”.

“Baada ya kupata kibali cha kujiunga na mtoa huduma mwingine wa maudhui. Mwenye leseni atawajibika kwa maudhui yoyote yasiyozingatia sheria na kanuni izi,” the government said.

The new regulations further require a government official to accompany any local journalist when covering a story with a foreigner.

To further regulate the media in the country, the authority further defined watershed period as hours from 12.00am to 5am. This is the period when broadcasters can air content only suitable for adults.

The authority stated that the new regulations are aimed at l”improving content” local content.

“Kanuni hizo zimelenga kuboresha huduma za maudhui ya Redio na Televisheni pamoja na usimamiza wake kutokana na uzoefu uliopatikana kwa kipindi cha miaka miwili toka kanauni za zamani zilipoanza kutumika mwaka 2018, ” the authority added.

Failure to adhere to the regulations, the government said, licensed media houses shall be fined.

Some of the journalists working with foreign media houses termed the new regulations as punitive and aimed at restricting international media from covering the October General Elections.

President John Pombe Magufuli is seeking re-election and will be facing off with renowned opposition chief Tundu Lissu.

The Magufuli-led regime has been accused of having taken control of the local media by frustrating journalists who dare to question the government.

Magufuli has also been criticized over attempt to stifle opposition through intimidations and arrests.

“Tanzania will hold its elections in October. Under the new law, foreign correspondents cannot work with local journalist and fixers – unless a government official is with them wherever they go, ” BBC journalist Ferdinand Omondi tweeted.

He added, “The Tanzanian government has already cracked down on domestic journalists. They have been intimidated, banned, and even jailed. Now, it seems state is training guns on the foreign press, seeking total control of the content Tanzania citizens consume.”

 

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Africa

Burundi jails three persons for stoning president’s convoy

Burundi jails three persons for stoning president’s convoy
Burundi jails three persons for stoning president’s convoy

Two men and a woman have been jailed 30 years for throwing stones at President Evariste Ndayishimiye convoy.

They were jailed by a court in northern Burundi after they were convicted of attempt to assassinate the president.

Local media reported that prosecutors asked the court in Kayanza province to jail them three to seven years for causing insecurity for the president.

The court however decided rather to convict them of trying to kill the president and sentenced each of them to 30 years in prison.

Local radio station Isanganiro also reported that the three jailed who work at a fuel station in Kayanza town, were accused of stoning the convoy from their work place when Mr Ndayishimiye visited the area last week.

The convicts have denied the charge though, according to local media.

The BBC quoted one resident in Kayanza as saying that “Many people were arrested after the incident, some were released afterwards but a woman and two men who work at a petrol station remained in jail and were sentenced this Sunday.”

President Ndayishimiye who recently won an election was due to be sworn in this month but the death of Pierre Nkurunziza meant that he had to take over power earlier than anticipated.