MISA Condemns Tanzanian Authorities For Unfair Ban Of Wasafi TV
THE Media Institute of Southern Africa (Zimbabwe) has criticised Tanzanian authorities for their harsh six-month suspension of Wasafi TV. The TV station was banned by the Tanzanian Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) for airing a musician who was scantily dressed during a live show.
The regulator accused the station of violating broadcast regulations by showing the scene during the Tumewasha festival. In addition to the fine, WasafiTV was also directed to issue an apology.
The performer, Gigy Money, was charged Tanzanian Shillings 50,000 (US$22) for taking off her gown on stage and exposing herself while performing. Last year, a similar incident happened to Wasafi TV’s sister station, Wasafi FM, for allegedly airing foul language. The radio station was suspended for seven days and was also ordered to apologise.
The Zimbabwean NGO, MISA, raised concern with Tanzanian authorities over media censoring, for even the slighted breaches. The NGO said, “The suspension of licences fosters a culture of self-censorship and is ominous for the exercise of freedom of expression.”
The organisation echoed the need for media freedom, expression and access to information, saying they are in line with “ 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.”