Fourth Tanzanian newspaper banned for 90 days over 'false' publication

The Tanzanian government has banned another newspaper for 90 days over publications described as false information.

The ban of the Swahili tabloid Tanzania Daima was tweeted by the Director of Information Services Dr Hassan Abbasi who said the paper had “continuously spread false information”.

Serikali imelichukulia hatua za kisheria gazeti la Tanzania Daima kwa mwendelezo wa kuandia habari za uongo….Taarifa kamili inakuja.— Msemaji wa Serikali (@TZ_MsemajiMkuu) October 24, 2017

The newspaper’s editor Martin Malera confirmed the ban to local news portal The Citizen which reports that one of the stories that attracted the ban was published on Sunday with the Swahili headline that meant: “67 percent of Tanzanians use ARVs”.

Tanzania Daima is the fourth newspaper to be banned this year after last month’s 90 days ban of weekly newspaper Raia Mwema over an article that criticized the John Magufuli-led government.

Another weekly tabloid Mwanahalisi was banned for two years after it was accused of inciting violence. It was the second time the newspaper had been closed in three months.

In June, the Mawio newspaper was banned over articles it published linking two former presidents to alleged improprieties in mining deals signed in the 1990s and early 2000s.

In November last year, Magufuli signed into law a bill that journalists said was aimed at muzzling freedom of the press.

The Media Services Act of 2016 gives officials powers to shut down media organisations that violate their licenses and requires newspapers to apply for an annual license.

The Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2017 was recently passed by parliament to regulate online and social media content.
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