The Tanzania Editors Forum has described the law used in imposing an indefinite ban on MwanaHalisi newspaper as oppressive, undemocratic and among those pieces of legislation which the media wants repealed.
In a statement issued in Dar es Salaam yesterday, and signed by its secretary Neville Meena, the Forum faulted the move, saying the issue should have been referred to the court where there are competent authorities to interpret the laws.
Instead the government has arrogated itself the powers of arresting, trying and sentencing to justify its move to gag the newspaper and justify its claim that it had warned the editor several times.
“If the issue had been referred to the court, the public would have known what the government had against MwanaHalisi and the proper redress against any infringement of the law,” said the TEF statement.
TEF also said the indefinite banning of the newspaper was too draconian and aimed at forcing the editor to beg for reprieve from the government.
“While TEF does not deny that there could be a professional lapse, the government action goes against the tenets of democracy by suppressing freedom of expression,” said the statement.
The statement warned that suppressing the media in this manner would leave the door open for the commitment of all sorts of vices and does not enhance good governance.