Tanzanian Bloggers are not having a good week.
In April, the Tanzanian Government said it would certify all bloggers in the country and charge them an annual fee of $900 before they can blog, and this covers both online radio and television streaming platforms like YouTube.
However, on the 5th of May, six human right activists and bloggers won a temporary court injunction against the order.
That injunction was short-lived— new reports have it that the Tanzanian Government has won the case against the bloggers and activists—the spokesman for the Government was quoted as saying:
“Following this ruling, owners of social media platforms that are used to disseminate news such as blogs, online TV and radio are required to continue with the registration process and observe ethics outlined in the relevant regulation.
In other words, bloggers will still have to pay a registration and license fee of $900 (annually) before they can operate:
They must also disclose details of shareholders, share capital, citizenship of owners, staff qualification and training programs, as well as a tax clearance certificate, to obtain an operating license from the regulator. Any blogger who defies the new law could be fined at least $2,200 or face imprisonment.
At the moment, Tanzanian bloggers who can’t meet the requirements have to shut down their websites or channels.
The passing of the law is another demonstration of President Magufuli’s leadership style that has earned him the title of ‘the Bulldozer.’
As a matter of fact, citizens who criticized him on social media platforms were arraigned in court for insulting the president.