Tag Archives: policing

dot-com, dot-org or dot-tz? What does Tanzanian law say?

Maxence Melo charge sheet #3

The recent arrest of digital media entrepreneur Maxence Melo of JamiiForums.com raises serious questions and concerns about freedom of speech, but one relatively minor aspect of the case has potentially serious implications for a lot of people.

Among the charges laid against Melo was “management of a domain not registered in Tanzania.” This took observers by surprise; even many close followers of media and technology issues in Tanzania were unaware that it is now apparently illegal to operate a website that does not use a dot-tz domain. The relevant laws have actually been in place since 2011, however, and the government posted a notice in the press last year calling on people to adhere to it.

But since it has now come to wider attention, it’s worth asking some questions. In particular, what exactly does the law say? And more pertinently, should you be concerned if you manage a domain other than something.tz? *

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Mwangosi verdict leaves a lot of questions, and a bitter taste

Mwangosi

A court in Iringa today sentenced police officer Pacifius Simon to 15 years imprisonment for the manslaughter of journalist Daud Mwangosi in September 2012. In one sense, this brings the case to a close. But it is a very unsatisfactory ending. Continue reading

Drama at St Gaspar’s: the full story of the 725m/-

Of all the dramatic developments last weekend, as CCM gathered in Dodoma to select their presidential candidate, one thing in particular stood out. Mid-morning on the day after Lowassa’s name was cut from the list of presidential aspirants, a man was found at St Gaspar’s Hotel with 725m/- (around $350k) in cash in suitcases:

So what exactly happened? Let’s follow the story as it developed: Continue reading

Chart #37: Spiritual beliefs in sub-Saharan Africa – religion, superstition and attacks on people with albinism

These interactive charts draw on data I have used before – the 2010 Pew survey of religious beliefs in sub-Saharan Africa (see full report and data here – pdf). I post the data again here with more detail for you to explore – you can select what specific belief you wish to examine using the drop down menu.

It’s particularly interesting in the context of heightened attention on superstitious beliefs in Tanzania, following the recent spate of brutal attacks on people living with albinism. As I have posted before, attacks on people with albinism have been more common in Tanzania than elsewhere in Africa.

 

So what do the charts tell us?

I want to make one main point, which is this: in several areas of superstition / supernatural belief, Tanzania is way ahead of the rest of Africa.

According to this survey, 93% of Tanzanians believe in witchcraft, 80% that some people can cast spells, and 96% in evil spirits . In all three cases, Tanzania “leads” in these beliefs. In fact, compared to most of the surveyed countries, Tanzania “leads” by a long distance.

Second, several commentators have argued that if Tanzania was more god-fearing, attacks on people with albinism would not happen. But this data shows that Tanzanians’ beliefs in more respectable aspects of religious belief – such things as angels, heaven and hell – are very similar to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. It seems unlikely that the problem is that Tanzanians are not sufficiently religious. Beliefs in Islam and Christianity exist alongside very widely held beliefs in witchcraft, evil spirits and curses.

Finally, exactly the same points can be made about violent attacks on people accused of practising witchcraft – usually elderly women. Nipashe newspaper reported yesterday on four recent mob murders of people in their 80s in Dodoma and Mara regions. They were accused of using witchcraft to bring drought to their villages.

Translated excerpts from President Kikwete’s monthly address – on attacks against people with albinism

President Kikwete declined to receive the planned demonstration by the Tanzania Albinism Society (TAS) yesterday, which was then banned by the police. However, in his latest monthly address he spoke extensively on the topic. I have translated the key excerpts, which are pasted below. Continue reading

On police brutality and the need for journalists to have “risk insurance”

Presidents Gauck and Kikwete, photo from Deutsche Welle

Presidents Gauck and Kikwete, photo from Deutsche Welle

I have several short extracts from today’s media for you.

First, from Deutche Welle, quoting German President Joachim Gauck, who is visiting Tanzania this week:

“What did our German forefathers see and feel, what hymns did they sing, when they first arrived in this place in the days of the Kaiser.” He was referring to the founding the colony of German East Africa.

I suppose it is a compliment, but colonial nostalgia is probably not the best way to win local popularity .

Now, lets turn to related, but more substantive matters. From Mtanzania:

President Gauck showered Tanzania in praise for how the country follows the rule of law, freedom of the press and protection of human rights.

He said he was satisfied with how Tanzania respects human rights and the pace of dealing with the problem of corruption. (1)

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“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