The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says the cases of detained journalist Erick Kabendera and missing journalist Azory Gwanda, in particular highlight Tanzania's decline in the press freedom and human rights stakes.
A newspaper stand is seen in Mwanza, Tanzania, on September 19, 2015. Tanzania is currently considering legal amendments that could negatively affect press freedom. Credit: CPJ/AFP/Daniel Hayduk.
Tanzania detained freelance reporter Kabendera for more than three weeks on alleged “economic crimes”, that CPJ believes are in retaliation for critical coverage of President John Magufuli’s government. The Tanzanian government has also failed to account for the whereabouts of freelance journalist Gwanda, who went missing in 2017, and is presumed dead after recent government utterances.
Press freedom has deteriorated in Magufuli’s Tanzania, as authorities use suspensions, restrictive legislation, and intimidation to muzzle journalists. CPJ has written to Magufuli, as well as the heads of state of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to draw attention to the decline in press freedom in Tanzania.