Tag Archives: Mtanzania

“Elderly woman drops to earth while travelling in the air,” apparently

Mtanzania 310115

In Mtanzania today, a remarkable story, particularly when you note that this is a respectable newspaper, nothing like Sanian elderly woman apparently fell from the sky above Shinyanga.

The article doesn’t explain how she was “travelling through the air”, but it doesn’t need to: travelling by ‘ungo’ (flying basket) is a familiar concept in Tanzania. Fallen-from-the-sky stories appear fairly regularly in the press. Occasionally, they are told with some scepticism. But often, as in this case, they are told entirely at face value. Continue reading

A step backwards on the road to democracy

"In order that a paper is not closed down. Obama: we envy Tanzania's economy. Mafia declines aid. Tanzania supports Japan."

“To avoid closure, papers should write like this. Obama: we envy Tanzania’s economy. Mafia declines aid, they have no problems. Tanzania supports Japan.” From Mwananchi, October 2010.

Tanzania trades on its reputation as an “island of peace,” (relatively) well governed, (relatively) democratic, and (relatively) peaceful. It is getting harder and harder to justify that reputation.

On Saturday, two of Tanzania’s leading newspapers – Mwananchi and Mtanzania – were suspended from publication by the government (unofficial English translation), Mwananchi for 14 days and Mtanzania for 90.

Freedom of the press is a fundamental pillar of democracy, a cornerstone of good governance and accountability. Any restrictions on that freedom – which can in some cases be justified – should be handled with extreme caution and used only in the most extreme circumstances. These are not those circumstances. Continue reading

Unofficial translation: Government statement on the suspension of publication of Mwananchi and Mtanzania newspapers

This is an unofficial translation of the government statement published yesterday. It is not an official translation so you are strongly advised to check the original Swahili if you need to be precise. 

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Government statement on the suspension of publication of Mwananchi and Mtanzania newspapers


The government has suspended publication of MWANANCHI and MTANZANIA newspapers, from September 27 2013, in response to these papers’ practice of writing news and features that are inflammatory and hostile with the intention of causing citizens to lose confidence in state organs, and as such putting the country’s peace and cohesion in danger. Continue reading

Sources and Reference on the Closure of Mwananchi and Mtanzania newspapers

“The Government Official Blog” posted earlier today an announcement that Mwananchi and Mtanzania newspapers have been closed down by the government, Mwananchi for 14 days and Mtanzania for 90 days. I have also posted an (unofficial) English translation of this statement.

I will post some analysis of this move very shortly. But first, here is a list of sources of information and commentary on the case, which I will try to keep up to date over the next few days (and beyond).

If you see anything that I have not listed, please add it in the comments below, or send it to me on Twitter (@mtega). Continue reading