By Staff Reporter
THE Media Institute of Southern Africa (Zimbabwe) has condemned Tanzanian authorities for their harsh six-month suspension of a TV station for airing a musician who was scantily dressed during a live show.
The station, Wasafi TV, was banned for six months by the Tanzanian Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).
The regulatory authority accused the station Wasafi TV had violated regulations by broadcasting the scene during the Tumewasha festival.
In addition to the suspension, WasafiTV was also ordered to issue an apology.
The musician, Gigy Money, was fined Tanzanian Shillings 50,000 (US$22) for removing her gown on stage and exposing herself.
Last September, Wasafi TV’s sister station, Wasafi FM, was suspended for seven days for allegedly airing foul language.
The station was also ordered to apologise.
Reacting to the development, MISA-Zimbabwe, a local NGO that has championed the protection of media rights in the country, said it was “concerned with the Tanzanian authorities’ propensity to suspend media licences, even for the slightest of breaches”.
“Where breaches occur, there are other avenues that can be pursued as opposed to the suspension of media houses for long periods of time.
“The suspension of licences fosters a culture of self-censorship and is ominous for the exercise of freedom of expression.”
Added the media group, “There is need for Tanzania to ensure its media freedom and freedom of expression laws, and the right to access to information, are aligned to 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.”