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Times FM radio station has been ordered to apologise to a Taarab musician Karya S Temba for projecting him in bad light before the public.

The order is contained in the ruling of the Ethics Committee of the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) which mediated a complaint raised by the musician against Times FM on January 30, 2014.

The committee chaired by rtd Judge Thomas Mihayo, ordered Times FM to apologise to Temba for three times in its programme titled “Mitikisiko ya Pwani” from February 5, 2014 and pay shs 500,000 as compensation for the costs he incurred to process the complaint. The disputed programme “Mitikisiko ya Pwani”was aired on September 26, 2013.

It also ordered the station to write a letter of apology to Temba within one week from January 30, 2014.

Temba in his complaint had claimed a presenter of the programme had referred to him as a novice in Taarab music and even mocked him by his tribe, saying that a chaga and taarab are too poles apart. Chagas are only good in running shops.

In its ruling the Ethics Committee decried stereotyping by reflecting people to their tribal connections or origins.

The committee in the ruling which was read by Justice Mihayo, asked heads of radio stations to ensure that they have clear policies which are understood and adhered to by their workers.

The committee also asked heads of radio stations to utilize training opportunities availed by the Media Council of Tanzania for training their presenters.  

Temba had first raised his complaints to Times FM Director in a letter dated October 21, 2013 which the Council has a copy.

Times FM management responding in a letter dated October 28, 2013 dismissing Temba’s complaint, and pointing out that the negative sentiments raised against him were personal views of the presenter and had nothing to do with the station.

After failing to reach a rapport with the management of the station, Temba presented his complaints to the Council on November 7, 2013.

During the mediation session on January 30, 2014 Times FM Programme Manager, Hermus Barik Joachim claimed that they had sorted out the issue with the musician and even censured the presenter but he had raised new issues.

However the Programme Manager caved in and expressed readiness to apologise following a barrage of questions from members of the Ethics Committee especially what really amounted to defamation to him.

In the ruling, the committee also observed that the presenter had used the programme as a platform for attacking Temba in gross contravention of broadcasting ethics.

Another complaint raised by the Member of Parliament for Musoma rural ,  Nimrod E. Mkono against Mawio newspaper protesting against three articles it had published was adjourned following a procedural hitch.

Mkono in his complaints received by the Media Council on October 21, 2013 cited the three articles headlined Mkono to bankrupt the country (Mkono kufilisi nchi) published on issue no 00061 of September 19,2013 and another headlined Tanesco Frustrated by Mkono ( Tanesco yalia na mkono) published on issue no 0064 of October 10,2013.

Another article was published on issue no 0065 of October 17, 2013 headlined Tanesco pays billions to IPTL.

In the complaint Mkono wanted to be represented by an advocate but the mediation procedures of the Ethics Committee do not allow that. Advocates can only assist a complainant during mediation.

Mkono insisted his right for representation and while the committee was sorting out the matter, the Editor of Mawio Naronyo Kicheere also claimed he should be represented too.

The Ethics Committee chair, rtd Justice Mihayo said at the onset of the proceedings that following that development, the committee has resolved to adjourn to mediate the complaint to a later date until the procedural hitch is sorted out.

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