The government has banned MwanaHalisi, a weekly Kiswahili newspaper, accusing it of publishing seditious material.
Fabian Rugaimukamu, acting Director of Information in the Information ministry, Fabian Rugaimukamu, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the ban went into immediate effect. He said the government acted in line with clause 25 (i) of the Newspaper Act of 1976 and Government Notice number 258 as published on July 27 this year.
According to Rugaimukamu, MwanaHalisi issues number 302 of July 11-18, number 303 of July 18-24 and number 304 of July 25-August 01 this year as well as several previous ones published information aimed at spreading fear in society.
He said the paper’s editor was summoned and warned several times but refused to acknowledge that the contents of his paper did not adhere to professional requirements and added no value to society.
“The editor has in his defence always quoted Article 18 of the Constitution (of Tanzania), which grants freedom of expression, but deliberately avoided reference to Article 30, which defines limits to that freedom,” he noted.
MwanaHalisi managing editor Saed Kubenea meanwhile said he was disappointed by the government move, because he was not given the right to be heard.
“If MwanaHalisi was accused of publishing seditious material, which between the government and court was the proper authority to point this out?” he asked, adding that he would issue a statement on the matter today.