AND VERY FREE SPEECH IN TANZANIA’S OWN MEDIA

The Dar es Salaam ‘FAMILY MIRROR’ has continued to illustrate the remarkable extent of the freedom of the press now evident in Tanzania. In a single issue (May 1992) it headlined:

On page 1 ‘Dodoma: A Capital Nobody Wants’ in which it wrote that the Government had backtracked on its decision to move Tanzania’s capital from Dar es sal aam to Dodoma because of a lack of political will and the ‘hopelessly collapsing national economy …. .. although no official announcement is expected from State House’.

On page 3 under the heading ‘Malecela Must Show Political Maturity’ it accused Prime Minister and First Vice-President John Malecela of suffering from ‘leadership fatigue’ after what it described as the ‘big flop’ of Mr Malecela’s visit to Namibia. What irked the Family Mirror was what it described as the ‘old-fashioned … tired politics’ he had been preaching as exemplified by his warning to Africa that it was about to be ‘recolonised’. Quoting the example of foreign involvement in Kuwait, the Kurdish country and the Liberian Civil War it wondered why Mr Malecela didn’t realise that the old (OAU) concept of non-interference (in the affairs of other countries) had ‘ almost become irrelevant in the African political context. Mr Malecela still ’embraces mesozoic notions that western nations are exploiters and colonialists trying to impress their models on Africa’…. ‘Politicians without originality are finding it tough … as they try to concoct new situations and create new scapegoats to divert the attention of the world from their own internal problems. If Mr Malecela did not have any new agenda to sell to Namibians he could have discusssed common problems such as population explosion, foreign debt, drought, food shortages, civil wars, human rights etc .

Page 4, ‘Dourado Speaks Out His Hind’, contained an interview conducted six years ago (shortly after he had been released from detention) but never published, with the ‘fiery, defiant but principled politician’, former Zanzibar Attorney General Wolfgang Dourado. “It was Mwalimu who detained me … not the Zanzibar Government” he said. “I was never given any grounds … but I believe that it was because I had been invited to present a paper to the Tanzania Law Society on the Consolidation of the Union. . . I was interviewed about it in the foreign media including the BBC . . . but in Africa one does not tread on the toes of venerable and infallible Founding Fathers’.

A COVERT CAMPAIGN
Reacting to increasing criticism in the private press Prime Minister and First Vice-President John Malecela was quoted in the SUNDAY NEWS (July 5) as speaking in Zanzibar of a ‘covert campaign’ to discredit the CCM and the Government. He said that the country’s leadership welcomed criticism intended to rectify mistakes and lapses but strongly rejected reports aimed at arousing people’s resentment so as to isolate the Party and the Government from the population. He urged Tanzanians to be vigilant against ill motives and advised them to resist attempts to erode national unity, peace and solidarity.

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