Journalist held for alledged fake news taken to Iringa

24Aug 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Journalist held for alledged fake news taken to Iringa

A journalist who is being held by police in Dar es Salaam for allegedly publishing fake news about police abuse of suspects was yesterday morning taken to Iringa region where he filed the story.

Joseph Gandye works for Watetezi TV.

Joseph Gandye works for Watetezi TV, a station established last year by the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC).

THRDC issued a statement yesterday condemning Gandye’s arrest and later Watetezi TV tweeted that he had been taken to Iringa in the morning.

Iringa is where he did a report earlier in August for Watetezi TV about alleged police maltreatment of suspects in custody.

THRDC said the police in Iringa had responded to the report with a warning that “issue false and misleading reports that aim at degrading the Tanzanian police force and the government as a whole” would not be tolerated.

“I have ordered the chief intelligence officer to follow up on people who are misleading and reporting false information.Once they are caught legal action shoud be taken,” THRDC quoted Juma Bwire, the regional police commander of Iringa, as saying.

Earlier this month, freelance investigative journalist Erick Kabendera was charged with money laundering, economic sabotage and organized crime at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s court.

Prosecution alleged that that in between 2015 and July 2019, at different places within Dar es Salaam, together with persons who were not in court, they led organized crime by providing assistance in the conduct of affairs of a criminal racket with intent to reap profit contrary to paragraph 4 (1) (c) and section 57 (1) and 60 (2) of the Economic and Organized Crime Control Act, 2002.

Kabendera was on Monday, July 29 taken away from his home at the Mbweni suburb by individuals who told the family that they were police officers, but family sources said they refused to show their identity cards.

The case will come up for another mention on August 19th.