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June 2017
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Journalists’ efforts to fight for press freedom bear fruit

Right to Access Information and Media Services Bills are most likely to be tabled on the basis of 2003 policy, during this year’s (2016 / 2017) Budget session due in Dodoma with effect from June, 2016.

Journalism practitioners and media stakeholders at large must have sighed with relief, following such assurances contained in a speech delivered by an Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Minister; Mr Nape Nnauye at Malaika Beach Resort, where this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) was commemorated at national level.

He reaffirmed that the Fifth – Phase Government, of which he is part, is determined to uphold and enhance press freedom as well as freedom of expression as enshrined in the law of the land.

He cited recent research findings which suggest that of 180 countries the world over, Tanzania occupies 71st  slot globally, 11th position in Africa and is leading in East Africa, as a clear testimony to how Tanzania upholds press freedom and an individual’s freedom of expression, strictly in compliance with Article 19 of the UN  Declaration of Human Rights.

Mr Nnauye equally pledged in front of hundreds of local journalism practitioners drawn from across the country, media stakeholders and a significant number of representatives of international Organizations, that in the same spirit, his Government is equally ready to take part in a round – table talks with all media stakeholders to see how best a bitter controversy over live Parliamentary sessions broadcasting can be mitigated.

To that end, he suggested that the media stakeholders, on their side, form a real representative committee for the talks, which will also involve the Parliament itself.

Theme of this year’s WPFD, characterized by a two – day symposium, reads, “Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms. This is your Right!” and based on that, in the end  a booklet on Gender Policy for Community Media was officially launched and five resolutions in total passed, seeking to heal wounds that journalism practitioners have long sustained, in the course of fulfilling their professional obligations.

The resolutions are as follows:

  1. Journalism practitioners and media stakeholders should follow up closely/ make to use, an avenue opened by Government, in relation to tabling to Parliament of Right to Access Information and Media Services Bills.
  2. Formation of a representative committee at a round table talks between journalism practitioners/ stakeholders and the Parliament to deliberate on controversy over live Parliamentary sessions broadcasting
  3. Government and related coercive organs should be extremely cautious when it comes to dealing with journalism practitioners who are on duty
  4. The judiciary ought to see to it that it reaches a verdict soonest, in relation to a police officer implicated in the late Daudi Mwangosi’s brutal killing in Iringa in 2012.

Cyber Crime Act , 2015 be amended to incorporate a section that guarantees safety of whistle blowers


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