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Media Council of Tanzania Website
The final draft of the proposed constitution of Tanzania has guaranteed media rights and press freedom.
The document presented to President Jakaya Kikwete on December 30, 2013 by the chairperson of the Constitution Review Commission, Justice Joseph Warioba, stipulates that the media will be free and will have the right to access, process and disseminate reports and information.
The media, the proposed statute says shall be responsible in disseminating news and information to the public and shall respect and protect human dignity, individual freedom and privacy.
It compels the government and its institutions, private institutions and individuals to provide information on their activities.
Parliament will enact legislation to protect media rights and press freedom and also information on reports on national security, peace, public values and ethics, rights, privacy and individual freedoms.
The proposed draft constitution also guarantees individual rights and freedom to seek, access, process and disseminate information and reports.
It also provides for people to establish media outlets and other means of disseminating of information regardless of national boundaries.
These proposals were refined from those presented in the first draft by the CRC accommodating inputs which in the case of media issues presented by the Constitutional Council for Media.
The Constitutional Council for the media was coordinated by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT).
It held meetings throughout the country before compiling a final document presented to the CRC.
Meanwhile President Kikwete appealed to the media to exercise sobriety in covering the constitutional process now entering its crucial stage debating the final draft in the constituent assembly.
Ha cautioned that the media should neither distort nor manifest partisanship or fanaticism in reporting the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly that is expected to be in place by February 2014.
The Constituent Assembly will be formed by Members of Parliament and those of the Zanzibar House of Representatives and over 200 members from the public who will be appointed by President Kikwete in Collaboration with the Zanzibar President, Dr. Ali Mohamed Sheen.
This is the first time that members of the public will be involved in constitution making process in the country.
In previous cases of constitutional changes, the sitting parliament served as constituent assembly.
Apart from media issues, the 106 page draft constitution covers wide spectrum of political, social and governance issues including the structure of the Union of Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.
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