Tanzania gags another media outlet, demands apology for seven days

The Tanzanian Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has on Thursday suspended Clouds FM and its sister TV station for seven days with immediate effect for ‘’violation of broadcasting laws’’.

Addressing journalists in Dar es Salaam, TCRA Director-General James Kilaba said that the station has been banned after it broadcasted election statistics that had not been approved by the National Electoral Commission.

Kilaba said the media house broadcasted misleading statistics that some candidates for Member of Parliament positions had been cleared unopposed after their competitors failed to meet nomination criteria in certain constituencies.

The regulator has further authorised the media house to halt all the broadcasting scheduled for Clouds TV and Clouds FM radio starting from Thursday 27 August and use the remaining hours in issuing a public apology to the Tanzanian people for seven days.

The regulator Director General has also cautioned social media users and in particular group administrators against posting misleading information and urged them to respect and follow the law.

The gag comes just weeks after TCRA banned a programme from Clouds FM radio for allegedly promoting immorality in the society.

The crackdown on free press continues to intensify in the East African nation. The government has already introduced new broadcast and online regulations that will guide the way social media users and media houses report.

With the October presidential elections nearing, such actions are counter-productive to the role of the media in informing the society.

Dar es Salaam has been on a lethal offensive that will see the state tighten and fully control the usage of internet and media.