Vodacom Tanzania is not able to properly respond to the allegations that it’s being used to infringe on the privacy of its clients, some who face risks of arrests, abduction, and execution by the bloodthirsty Tanzanian government.
According to the family of the recently abducted Tanzanian journalist, Eric Kabendera, the mobile services provider disabled the phone line of the journalist shortly before he was abducted by state operatives, mostly from the intelligence services who later handed him over to the police after public outcry.
Jamani kuanzia Leo rasmi naacha kutumia vodacom ili kupinga kitendo alicho fanyiwa mwandishi ndugu kabendera. pic.twitter.com/SmVXpEnim3
— mnyanyembe (@mohamiraji) July 30, 2019
Tanzania’s mobile services provider has issued a vague statement citing that they are required to comply with legal and regulatory laws in the countries they operate in. The statement failed to specifically deal with concerns of the infringement of privacy of subscribers who now face risks with their lines.
Eric Kabendera faces government wrath as he is one of the few remaining objective journalists in a country which has seen a spate of arrest, abduction, torture, and execution of journalists and bloggers who are believed to criticize the authoritarian government of President John Pombe Magufuli.
Namba ya simu ya Erick Kabendera ilifungwa na Vodacom mwishoni mwa wiki jana na alipouliza aliambiwa ni maelekezo kutoka TCRA. Tukumbuke kwamba Vodacom hawakumpigia mteja wao kumjulisha juu ya maelekezo hayo ya TCRA kabla bali walitekeleza agizo na kukaa kimya mpaka walipoulizwa. pic.twitter.com/XjH4sywBWZ
— Magenzi Kinunda (@magenzikinunda) July 29, 2019
Tanzania’s police have confirmed that they arrested journalist Eric Kabendera over claims that he is not a Tanzanian citizen. Normally, such arrests would be carried out by the Immigration Department. The issue of journalist Eric Kabdendera’s citizenship came up in 2013 when he was arrested but later released with the police apologizing after confirming that he is Tanzanian.
Tanzanian government is fond of claiming that critics are not its nationals.