In a statement issued by the Director of Information Services, Dr Hassan Abbas, Raia Mwema was slapped with the ban for publishing an article titled ‘Uraisi Utamshinda John Magufuli’(John Magufuli’s presidency doomed to fail).
The statement added that the article published in the tabloid was a “fair comment” but insisted that some lines purportedly quoting President John Magufuli were “cooked.”
“This tabloid has been warned repeatedly in the past,’’ the communiqué said.
The statement, further added that the decision to ban the tabloid was arrived at in accordance with Section 59(2) of the Information Services Act, 2016, which gives the Minister of Information the powers to ban newspapers.
Raia Mwema Board Chairman Jenerali Ulimwengu confirmed that they had been banned that because of the Wednesday article.
“We have been told that, the reason for the ban was our Wednesday’s story and others which were published in 2013. Right now I’m consulting other members to see a way forward,” he said briefly.
It is barely 10 days since another weekly tabloid Mwanahalisi was banned for two years.
Another newspaper, Mawio, was banned in June over articles it published linking two former presidents to alleged improprieties in mining deals signed in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Officials in Tanzania have the power to shut down media organisations that violate their licenses and requires newspapers to apply for an annual license thanks to the Media Services Act of 2016.
The country’s parliament also passed the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2017 to regulate online and social media content.