Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 2012 - Tanzania

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 14 February 2013
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2012 - Tanzania, 14 February 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/512b79c7a.html [accessed 20 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Key Developments

  • Police kill reporter in first work-related fatality in at least 20 years.

  • Critical paper suspended indefinitely after covering physicians' strike.

A journalist was killed in the line of duty in September, the first Tanzanian work-related fatality documented by CPJ in the 20 years it has kept detailed records. Police attacked veteran TV reporter Daudi Mwangosi, who was shot point-blank with a tear-gas canister and died at the scene, witnesses said. Mwangosi, of the private Channel 10 station, had confronted officers over the arrest of another journalist during an opposition rally, news reports said. The authorities arrested a junior officer in connection with the killing, but they didn't pursue at least six other officers thought to be associated with the death, according to a report released by the independent Media Council of Tanzania. The government can use 17 repressive, media-related statutes to crack down on critical coverage. Under the Newspaper Act of 1976, the information ministry indefinitely banned the Swahili-language weekly MwanaHalisi in July on vague charges of sedition and false reporting in unspecified articles. The paper's chief editor, Jabir Idrissa, said he suspected the publication was targeted for its coverage of a physicians' strike in the country and the abduction and torture of Steven Ulimboka, a doctor leading the strikers. Reports from MwanaHalisi had suggested the authorities were involved in the attack on Ulimboka, but the government denied the allegations, news reports said.

[Refworld note: The sections that follow represent a best effort to transcribe onto a single page information that appears in tabs on the CPJ's own pages, which also include a number of dynamically-generated graphics not readily reproducible here. Refworld researchers are therefore strongly recommended to check against the original report: Attacks on the Press in 2012.]


Journalist killed: 1

Police killed Channel 10 reporter Daudi Mwangosi in September during a confrontation at a street rally, according to news reports. Government officials, including police, are suspected of involvement in more than 20 percent of journalist killings worldwide, CPJ research shows.

Suspected source of fire in fatalities worldwide:

30%: Political group
23%: Government officials
19%: Unknown
13%: Criminal group
7%: Paramilitary group
5%: Military officials
2%: Local residents
2%: Mob violence

* Adds up to more than 100 percent because of rounding


Publication suspended: 1

In July, the government indefinitely banned the critical Swahili-language weekly MwanaHalisi, accusing the paper of publishing seditious articles. Local journalists suspected the ban was related to the paper's coverage of an attack on a local doctor. Tanzania has shut down critical publications in the past.

Silencing critics over time:

December 2005: Private daily Tanzania Daima is suspended for three days.

December 2005: Private weekly Amani is suspended for 28 days.

October 2008: Critical weekly MwanaHalisi is banned for 90 days.

January 2011: Critical weekly Kulikoni is suspended for 90 days.

July 2012: Critical weekly MwanaHalisi is banned indefinitely.


Anti-press laws: 17

Tanzania's constitution, despite having strong provisions for press freedom, includes at least 17 anti-media laws that induce journalists to practice self-censorship, according to CPJ research.

Some of the restrictive laws:

National Security Act 1970 The law makes it a punishable offense for a person to obtain, possess, comment on, share, or publish any document or information the government deems classified.

Newspaper Act 1976 The law gives the government broad powers to ban or shut a publication considered to have engaged in seditious activity.

Public Leadership Code of Ethics Act 1995 The law restricts the media from investigating or reporting on property holdings of public officials.


Internet penetration: 12%

Internet penetration in Tanzania has steadily increased over the past few years, according to the most recent data from the International Telecommunication Union. With plans to build a 4,600-mile fiber-optic cable network across the country, the country hopes to rival neighboring Kenya as an online regional hub, according to news reports.

Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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