Tanzanian Minister Intervenes Following Arrest of Journalists

A Tanzanian official on 12 April 2021 allegedly caused the arrest of two journalists, only days after the country’s leader, President Samia Suluhu Hassan promised a change of culture in terms of the authorities’ relations with the media.

According to reports, Temeke Municipal director, Lusubilo Mwakabibi, allegedly caused the arrest of journalists Christopher James (ITV and RadioOne) and Dickson Billikwija (Island TV). The two had attended a meeting between the municipal boss and traders at Mbagala Rangi Tatu.

It is claimed the two journalists did not have the authority from the municipality to cover the meeting. On the other hand, the traders are said to have invited the journalists to cover the meeting.

The two were released without charge.

The Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Innocent Bashungwa, said they were following up on complaints from stakeholders in the media industry over the arrests of the two journalists.

“We ask journalists to be patient as we work on this issue,” he tweeted.

MISA Zimbabwe position
MISA Zimbabwe is concerned that journalists are still being arrested in Tanzania for simply doing their work.

The latest arrest flies in the face of President Hassan’s commitment to ensure that Tanzania is not a country that is renowned for arresting journalists.

We are encouraged, however, that the ministry is looking into this matter and we hope the results of this enquiry will be made public to foster accountability.

Source: MISA Zimbabwe

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