Tanzanian Government has finally introduced media gagging law that will heavily impact negatively on blogging and journalism in the country.The law requires that any blogger must register with The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority.
In the law,bloggers are required to pay license fee amounting to $900.Media houses and TV stations will also be required to obtain a license from the government.
Before any individual is allowed to blog,they must obtain a license fee from Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority. They are also required to pay annual fee.
Despite outcry from the media industry, Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe, Tanzania’s Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, has gome on to sign the regulations into law. Tanzania’s government has said that the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2018 will help to put a stop to the “moral decadence” cause by social media and the Internet in the country. The eastern African country’s policy makers also said that social media is a threat to Tanzania’s national security.
Another peculiar part of the regulations is that everyone in Tanzania will be required to have a password (PIN) for locking their mobile phones, and failure to have this will result in a fine of more than 5 million Tanzanian Shillings (approximately $2,000) or even 12 months imprisonment, or both depending on what the court decides. Online content publishers (blogs, podcasts, videos) will apply for a license at a fee of 100,000 Tanzanian Shillings, pay an initial license fee of 1,000,000 Tanzanian Shillings and an annual license fee of 1,000,000 Tanzanian Shillings. This means to run something as simple as a personal blog (text) if you live in Tanzania, you’d have to spend an initial (approximately) $900 in license fees.