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ZA KISWAHILI

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Media Council of Tanzania Website

kajubexThe Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) has urged the media to exercise sobriety in handling

issues that may threaten peace, stability and security.

Addressing a press conference at the Council’s offices on August 13, 2013, the MCT Executive Secretary, Kajubi Mukajanga, said the Council has been disturbed by the way some media outlets reported two speeches by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.

During the Commemoration to mark Heroes Day held on July 25 at the Kaboya army camp in Muleba district, Kagera region, the president had warned that any attempt to threaten Tanzania’s peace, stability and security would be squarely dealt with.

In his end of the month speech in July, 2013, the president had said that ties between Tanzania and Rwanda were passing through a difficult period.

The Rwandese were not amused by a proposal he made during the Summit meeting of the African Union in  Addis Ababa Ethiopia  that the country should have dialogue with the a Hutu renegade group to patch up the long standing animosity.

Rwanda accuses the group – the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) for carrying out the 1994 genocide where hundreds of Tutsi and moderate Hutus were brutally killed.

Mukajanga said while the president in both occasions did not mention names, the media not only mentioned Rwandese President Paul Kagame and Malawi President Joyce Banda, but stated the president has warned the duo against harbouring any designs on Tanzania.

Mukajanga said the way the media reported the issues was akin to declaring war or setting the country on war footing.

“It is not the prerogative of the media to declare war”, he said

Citing the Uganda-Tanzania war after the forces of Uganda’s dictator Idd Amin invaded  and  annexed part  of Tanzania, Mukajanga said that war against Uganda was declared by the then President of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.

He appealed that wisdom should carry the day in handling and deciding on news items.

Journalists should always be guided by wisdom – “I am reporting this for what end?” Mukajanga  counseled.

He reminded the media that, they should focus on promoting democracy, peace, development, social cohesion and good relations between nations.

“Press freedom would be meaningless, if editors are not committed to be responsible to the society”, Mukajanga underscored.

He appealed to editors to always adhere to professional ethics and the various guidelines issued by the Council.

end

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