MCT Doubts Tanzania President Loves Journalists as he Has Recently Claimed

MCT Executive Secretary Kajubi Mukajanga


By TZ Business News Staff.


Tanzania Media Council (MCT) has expressed doubt President John Pombe Magufuli  truly  loves Tanzanian journalists as he recently claimed.

The President recently told journalists in  Kagera region during an official visit that he loves journalists in Kagera and across the nation because he and the journalists were both toiling to serve the people.  He offered to train journalists and promised to set aside a day sometime in future to meet journalists for discussing their challenges.

Talking exclusively to this website by phone, MCT Executive Secretary Kajubi Mukajanga said the Tanzania President’s recent statement  in Karagwe, is not in agreement with actions  of his  administration which prove anti-freedom of expression.

“The actions being taken by his administration against  journalists and  freedom of  expression in general are very repressive,” Mukajanga said, adding that the only explanation in support of the idea the president was telling the truth would be if he had changed like Paul, the follower of Jesus Christ who  stopped torturing early Christians only after meeting a magical flash of light as he travelled from Damascus.

“I take it [the President’s statement] with a pinch of salt because we are looking at the actions of his administration. This may just be plain words because actions are not  showing any change. That is all I can say,” Mukajanga said. “However, if he has seen the flash of light as he travelled from Damascus,  then we should be grateful”

In an earlier statement released November 2, 2017 on  the international day to mark the worldwide day of fighting impunity against journalists, MCT cited a long list of incidents in which Tanzanian journalists had been detained, harassed and obstructed from duty by the police, district commissioners and regional commissioners.

Five newspapers have been  closed down during the last six months, Kajubi wrote on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. They include Mseto, Mwanahalisi, Mawio, Tanzania Daima and Raia Mwema newspaper. Beside closure of those newspapers, a number of journalist were disturbed while doing their duty.

In Arusha, Halfani Liundi of  ITV was placed in custody  by the district commissioner Alexander Pastory Mnyeti who has now been promoted to Regional Commissioner for Manyara Region. Augusta  Njonji of  Nipashe  newspaper was detained  by the police, questioned  and later released on bail for  writing a story on the parliamentary  Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Reporters working for Mwananchi newspaper, Azam TV and Mtanzania  newspaper were recently obstructed by government officials from reporting on students unrest at Geita Secondary school in northern Tanzania. Joel Maduka of  Storm FM and  Vallence Robert of Channel Ten were recently attacked by the police while on duty covering  former prime minister Edward Lowassa who  was visiting  Geita.

Cameras belonging to the Guardian newspaper photographers Seleman Mpochi and John Badi were recently confiscated when they attended a meeting convened by Sheikh Ponda at Hotel Iris in Dar es Salaam.

Mukajanga called upon journalists in the country to report to the MCT from now on any harassment  or obstruction from duty because there is now  a register to record all acts against journalists. MCT has said it will now file court cases against individual Government officials who harass or interfere with journalists work.