How No nonsense Magufuli suspended Tanzania’s privately-owned local daily for messing up with his economy

Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli in a file photo. REUTERS/Sadi Said

President John Pombe Magufuli has over a long time been hitting headlines over his style of leadership. To him, it is either you deliver or quit! Tanzania now has suspended The Citizen newspaper for seven days.

The government accused the privately-owned local daily of publishing false news in a story on depreciation of the shilling against the dollar on February 23.

The Citizen newspaper.

The paper “deliberately published misleading information that the value of the Tanzanian shilling has declined compared to three years ago without following the due procedure and financial standards set by the Bank of Tanzania ,” Mr Patrick Kipangula, the registrar of newspapers, said in a letter on Wednesday.

Mr Kipangula said the decision to suspend the licence temporarily follows the printing of a number of misleading articles that “largely violate media ethics and incite citizens against the government.”

He also cited a story that run on July 22, 2018 titled “US Senator Raises Alarm on Tanzania” that quoted an American politician criticising the government of human rights violations.

The letter by the registrar was addressed to the Managing Editor of Mwananchi Communications Limited, which owns The Citizen.

The government has, since 2015, closed several critical newspapers and imposed new restrictive laws on freedom of expression.

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