Tanzania slaps 2-year ban on newspaper over Kikwete, Mkapa story

Tanzania President John Magufuli. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Tanzanian President John Magufuli. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Dar es Salaam.

The Tanzanian government has banned Mawio newspaper, a weekly tabloid, from publication for 24 months after it linked former Presidents Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete with the mineral concentrates dispute.

The Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and sports Dr Harrison Mwakyembe imposed the ban through a statement released to the media by the Director of Information services Dr Hassan Abbasi on Thursday evening.

Dr Abbasi said the ban starts immediately.

Mawio’s Wednesday edition carried the photographs of the former presidents on their front page with a story detailing the two leaders’ role in the problems bedevilling the mining sector in Tanzania.

“I have been left with no other option than to use powers conferred to me by the information services Act to impose a ban on Mawio from publication for the next 24 months,” read part of the letter from the minister to Mawio editor.

Online edition banned

Apart from printing, the newspaper will also not be allowed to run the digital version or on its social platforms.

Mawio was accused of ignoring a government directive on reporting of the former presidents.

On Wednesday, President John Magufuli warned the media against linking Mkapa and Kikwete with reports of the dispute with mining giant Acacia.

He issued the warning after he held talks with Barrick Gold Chairman Prof John Thornton at the State House on Wednesday.

“Media should stop tarnishing their reputation. They have done a great work in serving this country. We should let them rest,” the President said.