Tanzania cracks down on the media yet again and goes after newspaper for ‘despising’ Tanzanian shilling

Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli.
  • The government has suspended The Citizen newspaper, a privately-owned local daily for seven days.
  • Since President Magufuli came into power his administration has banned a number of publications for what it terms as publishing false information and inciting the public.
  • Others already banned include: Mawio, Mwanahalisi and Raia Mwema.

Tanzania has cracked down on the media yet again.

The government has suspended The Citizen newspaper, a privately-owned local daily for seven days over what it terms as publishing false news in a story on depreciation of the Tanzanian shilling against the dollar on February 23.

“The paper deliberately published misleading information that the value of the Tanzanian shilling has declined compared to three years ago without following the due procedure and financial standards set by the Bank of Tanzania," Mr. Patrick Kipangula, the registrar of newspapers, said in a letter on Wednesday.

The letter by the registrar was addressed to the Managing Editor of Mwananchi Communications Limited, which owns The Citizen.

Mr Kipangula voiced support for the decision to suspend the newspaper licence temporarily arguing that the newspaper had a habit of printing of a number of misleading articles that "largely violate media ethics and incite citizens against the government."

This is not the first time however, Tanzania has cracked down on the media.

Since President John Magufuli came into power his administration has banned a number of publications for what it terms as publishing false information and inciting the public.

In late 2017, Tanzania Daima, a Swahili daily newspaper become the fourth victim of government’s crackdown after it was banned for 90 days for allegedly publishing false information.

Others already banned include: Mawio, Mwanahalisi and Raia Mwema.

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