Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.
Police in Arusha denies detaining Kenyan pastor
Arusha regional police commander Justine Masejo on Tuesday denied reports that police in the region were detaining a Kenyan journalist-cum-preacher for three weeks under unclear circumstances.
According to a report by Kenya’s K24 TV, Pastor Julius Kuyioni left Kenya on July 7, 2022, through the Olpusimoru border for Loliondo to be a guest speaker and preacher in a three-day crusade through an invitation by the chairperson of the Loliondo Pastors Association chairman Pastor Joseph Ngida.
But he was arrested at Olgos-Sopia migration office in Tanzania before reaching his destination and transported to Arusha with his brother Moses Kuyioni telling K24 TV that he was being held at the Tourist and Diplomatic Police Station in Arusha where he is being interrogated.
“Our brother went through the Olpusimoru border point with relevant papers, a temporary passport and [Tanzania] Missionary Visa three weeks ago,” K24 TV quoted Moses as saying. “But when he reported to the Tanzania migration office at Olgos-Soipia for his document stumping he was arrested on suspicion of being in the country.”
But Masejo told The Chanzo during a brief phone interview on Tuesday that: “I’m in a meeting but I’m listening to you. We do not have such information [on the arrest of the Kenyan pastor]. Maybe we will follow up on that.”
Full story here.
‘Licensing requirements cause self-censorship among media practitioners’
The Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) has underscored the need for authorities in Tanzania to repeal all media laws and regulations, saying in their current shape they breed a culture of self-censorship among media practitioners and organizations.
MCT, an independent, voluntary, non-statutory self-regulatory body, made the observation in its latest State of the Media 2021-2022 report where it notes that “adverse” political and economic environments constrained media activity in the past two years.
“Political animosity and legal manipulation, especially during the fifth phase administration of President John Magufuli, muzzled media freedom in the country,” states the 133-page report in part.
“The threat of suspension, banning and revocation of media licence resulted in a high degree of self-censorship among media practitioners and organizations,” added the report. “The economic environment hit hard media operations, following a sharp drop in sales and advertising revenue.”
The laws that MCT wants to be repealed include the Electronic and Postal Communications Act (EPOCA) and its regulations; the Cybercrime Act, 2015; the Statistics Act, 2015 and the Media Services Act, 2016 (MSA).
“Online media, bloggers and other netizens have also been victims of the laws governing cyberspace,” MCT says in its report. “Bloggers and online cartoonists were arraigned and charged using the cybercrime law.”
Full story here.
Seven CHADEMA members freed after spending eighteen months in prison
A judge in Mbeya on Tuesday freed seven members of the opposition CHADEMA party who spent almost eighteen months in remand prison after being charged with murder immediately after the 2020 General Election.
Judge J. M. Karayemahaya of the High Court of Tanzania in Mbeya had to order the release of the cadres after prosecutors said they no longer have an interest in pursuing the case.
Those freed on Tuesday are Hitla Haonga, Ijumilege Mwanjia, Yusuph Aliemin, Peter Cherehani, Elia Schone, Daud Mwajiunga and Charles Semkonda.
The seven were charged at different times with one group charged with murder during the announcement of election results in late October 2022. This group included Haonga and Aliemin.
The rest of the group was charged during the process to return nomination forms before the October 2020 elections.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow former inmates immediately after being freed, Haonga thanked fellow CHADEMA members for what they did to him and other former incarcerated party members while they were in prison.
“Your frequent visits to prisons honoured us so much,” Haonga said before CHADEMA secretary-general John Mnyika who was there to receive them. “You took care of our families. Please let’s always do this to each other because these treatments [by the government] shall never end.”
Hundreds of opposition party members were arrested and charged with various cases immediately after the October 2020 election that opposition parties decried to be “stolen.”
President John Magufuli, who died on March 17, 2021, was declared the winner in the election that a number of independent electoral observers deemed to be unfree and unfair.
Thirteen perishes in fatal car accident in Mtwara. Eight of them students
Thirteen people, including eight students from King David Primary School in Mtwara, died on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, after a school bus they were travelling in was involved in an accident in the town of Mikindani in the southern region of Mtwara.
Reports indicate that the school bus skidded before it overturned into a ditch, leading to the death of ten people, leaving eighteen others injured, according to Mtwara’s Chief Medical Officer Hamad Nyembea.
In her condolences she sent through Twitter, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said she was “saddened” by the deaths of the students while wishing those injured “a quick recovery.”
It is the fourth road accident to have occurred in Tanzania in July only after that of Mbeya which killed five people on July 5; Simiyu which killed five people on July 24; and that of Kagera which killed eight people, including a mother and her four children, on July 12, 2022.
This is it for today and we hope you enjoyed our briefing. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter (see below) or following us on Twitter (here) as that is the best way to make sure you do not miss any of these briefings. And in case you have any questions or comments, please consider dropping a word to our editors at email@example.com.