The much heralded John Magufuli, President United Republic of Tanzania, has raised serious concerns by his statement declaring that “Media freedom has limits” during oath taking ceremony of his cabinet ministers.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter urged the government to take decisive action for the freedom of media and avoid restrictive approach to press freedom.
According to International Press Institute (IPI), during last 18 months newspapers have been shuttered, opposition rallies have been barred, live broadcasts of parliamentary sessions have been halted and a cyber-crime law was enacted that has been used to jail critics.
The president has rejected accusations that he has suppressed democracy, claiming instead to have encouraged the rule of law. His government is imposing criminal charges against individuals accused of spreading “false information” online.
According to reports, regional commissioner of Dar es Salaam, Paul Makonda, led raids by armed police on the offices of a Dar es Salaam media group, Clouds FM, where Makonda demanded that the broadcaster air material damaging to a political rival.