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MCT expresses sympathy to Mawio editor The Executive Secretary of Media Council of Tanzanian expressed sympathy to the managing editor of Mawio, Simon Mkina, following the government decision to ban his newspaper for two years.
TEF joins fray criticising Govt for banning Mawio Tanzania Editors Forum has joined the fray in protesting the government’s decision to ban Mawio newspaper for two years.
Government urged to rescind ban on Mawio The government has been urged to rescind the two-year ban it has imposed on Mawio newspaper as the order contravenes the country’s constitution and the Media Services Act of 2016 which basically does not empower the minister for information to mete out such punishment.
IMS representatives meet MCT officials Representatives of the International Media Support (IMS) held talks with officials of the Media Council on June 16, 2017.

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The government is taking steps to strengthen the 1976 Newspaper Act with stiff fines and lengthy jail terms. The penalties are reflected in the written laws (miscellaneous and amendments (No 3) Act of 2013 which is expected to tabled in next Parliamentary session.

The Bill signed by the Attorney General Frederick Werema signalling changes in a number of written laws with the goal of enabling effective implementation and realization of their objectives.

As for the Newspapers Act Capp 229, the proposed amendments are intended to enhance penalties for offences under this act relating to use of abusive or insulting language such as the publication of false news likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or incitement to violence.

Section 36 and 37 of the Newspaper Act are proposed to be amended to provide tougher sentences both in fines in jail terms.

Presently offences for both sections attract TZS 15,000 fine or a three-year jail term. In the amended proposals, the fines have been raised to TZS 5,000,000 while the jail term is 5 years.

The Coalition on the Right to Information chaired by the Media Council of Tanzania which met on October 23, 2013 at the MCT premises, has expressed concern on the government move.

It plans to present stakeholder’s views expressing their concerns on the proposed amendments to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs.

According to the Regulations and Standards Manager of MCT, Pili Mtambalike, the stakeholders view the proposed amendments as not progressive.

Media stakeholders have been lobbying and appealing to the government to repeal the Newspaper Act which gives prerogative to ministers in charge of information to ban or suspend newspaper at will.

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