Tanzanian authorities have suspended Wasafi TV from broadcasting for six months for allegedly violating broadcast regulations during a recent live show.
The Tanzanian Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), said Wasafi TV had violated regulations by broadcasting a musician who was scantily dressed during the Tumewasha festival. In addition to the suspension, WasafiTV was also ordered to issue an apology.
The musician, Gigy Money, was fined Tanzanian Shillings 50,000 (US$22) for removing her gown on stage and exposing herself.
Last September, Wasafi TV’s sister station, Wasafi FM, was suspended for seven days for allegedly airing foul language.
The station was also ordered to apologise.
MISA Zimbabwe’s position
MISA Zimbabwe is concerned with the Tanzanian authorities’ propensity to suspend media licences, even for the slightest of breaches.
Where breaches occur, there are other avenues that can be pursued as opposed to the suspension of media houses for long periods of time. The suspension of licences fosters a culture of self-censorship and is ominous for the exercise of freedom of expression.
There is need for Tanzania to ensure its media freedom and freedom of expression laws, and the right to access to information, are aligned to African Union (AU) protocols and instruments such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR), the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa.