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Tanzanian gov’t bans song that says President Suluhu is harbouring thieves

In the five-minute-long song, Ney wa Mitego questions whether the demise of former President John Pombe Magufuli was some form of punishment

Tanzanian rapper Ney wa Mitego

Tanzanian rapper Emmanuel Elibariki, popularly known as Ney wa Mitego, has once again found himself in the midst of a heated controversy with the Tanzanian government over his latest release titled 'Amkeni.'

In the song, Ney fearlessly criticizes President Samia Suluhu's administration, leading to its swift ban by Tanzania's National Art Council, BASATA.

In 'Amkeni,' Ney wa Mitego doesn't hold back as he boldly calls out the government, describing it as corrupt and accusing President Suluhu of merely putting up billboards to portray herself as hardworking while allegedly failing to deliver on her promises.

The rapper further points out the burden of multiple taxes imposed on Tanzanians, coupled with subpar public services and increasing national debt.

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In a particularly daring verse, Ney questions whether the untimely demise of former President Magufuli was meant to be a lesson for the people or a form of punishment, leaving listeners with much to ponder.

BASATA swiftly responded to the song, imposing a ban on its play across national media houses and social media platforms.

The council stated that the song was disrespectful to President Suluhu and had the potential to incite the public against the ruling government.

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However, the ban didn't deter Ney wa Mitego from expressing his views further. He took to his Instagram account, condemning BASATA's decision and accusing them of abusing their authority, all at the expense of taxpayers.

The rapper expressed his lack of surprise, claiming that mainstream media has previously shunned his music, but that hasn't stopped his songs from becoming street anthems.

"Mimi nilisahau ata mambo ya nyimbo zangu kupigwa radioni, mziki wangu unapenya uko mtaani ni number 1. Ukitaka kufungia ngoma zangu deal na mtaa.

"[I even forgot about my songs being played on the radio; my music penetrates the streets, and it's number one out there. If you want to ban my songs, deal with the streets,]" Ney wrote passionately on his Instagram.

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This isn't the first time Ney wa Mitego has found himself at odds with the government. Throughout his career, he has fearlessly used his music to address societal and political issues, resulting in several of his songs being banned and even leading to his arrest on previous occasions.

In 2017, he was arrested for using foul language on the then-Tanzanian President, the late John Pombe Magufuli in his song 'Wapo'

Since then he has occasionally found himself at crossroads with the government over the content he was producing.

Here is a snippet of the song;

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