Tanzania Tightens Noose On Press Freedom, Now Requires Media Houses To Obtain State Permission Before Broadcasting Live Events

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) [Photo/Courtesy]

The Tanzanian government now requires broadcasters in the country to obtain permission from the state before airing live events, a move seen by critics as an attempt by the President John Pombe Magufuli-led regime to further tighten the noose on press freedom in the country.

The New regulations issued by Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), require radio and TV stations to give the authority a 14-day notice on intention to broadcast live state events or ceremonies.

The media houses will be required to state the location and how long an event will last.

For emergency cases, the stations will be required to write an email to the authority before broadcasting any event live.

The email communication should detail the type of emergency and how long the broadcast will last.

Read: Tanzania Bans Domestic Broadcasters From Airing Foreign-made Content Without State Permission

The new regulations dated September 7, were issued a month after the authority banned all domestic media houses from airing foreign media content without state approval.

In the regulations issued in August, TCRA also requires a government official to accompany any local journalist when covering a story with a foreigner.

Critics have termed the regulations as punitive and aimed at restricting international media from covering the October General Elections.

This comes amid heated campaigns in the country with opposition chief Tundu Lissu who will be contesting against Magufuli of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) accusing the Head of State of ruling with an iron fist.

Read Also: UN Calls on Tanzania to Respect Human Rights as Magufuli Stifles Opposition

The Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) party leader who is expected to give Magufuli a run for his money in the upcoming elections returned to Tanzania on July 27.

He had been living in Belgium and has undergone at least 20 surgeries after he survived an assassination attempt in September 2017.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege

Passionate digital Journalist with a bias for political and current affairs stories.

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