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President Suluhu’s viewpoint Boosts Media Stakeholders’ Morale

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As the world celebrated Press Freedom day, Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan called on journalists to work freely as they celebrated the Media Freedom Day in Africa at Arusha.

She urged the journalists to work with lots of passion and uphold the truth as they promote patriotism and articulate their nation Tanzania.

The president went on to instruct the Minister of Information, Communications and Information Technology, Nape Nnauye about the processing of applications for making possible tax deductions and tariffs as well as a value addition for newspaper clippings.

This turned out as one of the applications submitted by the Tanzanian Editors Forum (TEF).

A move that had stakeholders of the media industry interested as they are terming it an approach by the government is showing its will for supporting and encouraging the media to carry out its obligations freely.

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Onesmo Olengurumwa, the Coordinator of the Network of Human Rights Defenders (THRDC), said that it was crystal clear the government’s intention of promoting media freedom as evident through the president’s statement and prior actions.

Salome Kitomari, Chairperson of the Media Institute of Southern Africa in Tanzania (Misa Tan), said: We also see the content now in the media has begun to change, in short, there is a positive attitude of the Government against the media”.

Anna Henga, the Director of the Law and Human Rights Center (LHRC), recommended the work done by the government since coming into power as it has proven through action a sincere desire of granting the media its rights and letting them do their work without interference.

There have been complaints over harsh laws and legislations hindering freedom of the press and expression, including restrictions to social media platforms through licensing processes and the control of freelance contributors and correspondents through accreditation.

Deodatus Balile, Chairman of the Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF), went on hailing the political interest and will showcased by the political side towards ensuring media liberation as evidenced by the action partaken of thereof.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Director for Eastern Africa Prof Hubert Gijzen said that Tanzania had made significant development in advancing press freedom after lifting the ban imposed on four local newspapers and the transformation of the state broadcasting into a public service entity.

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