Wahariri kutoka magazeti mbalimbali Tanzania waliaandana kwenda Wizara ya Habari leo mjini Dar es Salaam. Lengo lao ilikuwa kuonyesha chuki na kupinga kufungwa kwa miezi mitatu gazeti la MwanaHalisi. Gazeti hilo ilifungwa hivi karibuni baada ya kutoa habari kuwa kulikuwa na njama za kumpindua rais wetu mpendwa, Jakaya Kikwete.
Nina swali, kwa nini headline ya ippmedia imewaita 'Dumb' (wajinga)? Siku hizi waandishi wa habari hawaheshimiani? Maandamano ilikuwa ya amani na wana haki ya kusema kuwa wanapinga maamuzi ya serikali. Kweli hii siyo enzi za Mwalimu. Enzi zile hutathubutu kuaandana! Utakosa kazi, na kufukuzwa kwenye nyumba na mambo mengine mabaya yangekupata.
Mzee Nyundo kanifurahisha hapo, lakini najua alikuwa anafanya kazi yake.
'Dumb` editors stage demo
By Correspondent Felister Peter
Editors from different media houses yesterday staged a peaceful demonstration to register their opposition to a government ban on MwanaHALISI weekly tabloid.
The peaceful march that started at Lugoda Street, Gerezani near Business Times offices and headed to the information ministry offices along Samora Avenue in Dar es Salaam, was also supported by activists from other organisations.
The editors marched with sealed mouths, being a mark of silencing the media and suppressing its freedom. They also displayed placards that carried varied messages, all opposed to the banning of MwanaHALISI.
Some of the placards read as follows: ``The government should not temper with press freedom, Mwanahalisi is banned but the corrupt leaders are still in office.`` ``Who revealed the EPA, Richmond and UVCCM scandals?`` ``We want MwanaHalisi back.``
``We shall continue writing until the end of this world.`` ``The newspapers Act of 1976 should be abandoned; MwanaHaLISI is the ear, mouth and eye of every Tanzanian.``
At the Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports headquarters, the protestors were received by the Deputy Director of the Tanzania Information Services Habib Nyundo, as the minister was not in office at that time.
Nyundo said he had received the message and would convey it to the minister. However, he advised the editors to stop using the name `Editors Forum`because it was not registered anywhere.
``I received your message, but I would like to advise you to stop identifying yourselves under the Editors Forum banner because it is not known to the government,`` he said.
In response, Editors Forum acting chairperson Absalom Kibanda differed with Nyundo.
Kibanda argued that the editors forming the body were fully known and operated legally because they were registered professionals with the Tanzania Information Services (Maelezo).
He said it was improper for the government to reject the editors group at the same time accepting its members as registered professionals. ``They should tell us the suitable persons who should belong to the Forum.``
He said the banning of MwanaHALISI was improper because contribution of the private media to the development of the country was crucial as compared to state-run outlets.
Kibanda said the aim of the demonstration was not to prove the story wrong or right, but making it clear to the government that silencing the media was totally wrong.
The chairman of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)-Tanzania, Ayoub Rioba, said Tanzania was a country that was ruled by democratic principles and there was no way the state could deny that fact but only adhere to it.
Ananelia Nkya, executive director of the Tanzania Media Women Association (Tamwa), said the banning of MwanHALISI denied people the right to give their opinion. ``If this continues, a day will come all private newspapers will be banned,`` she said.
MwanaHALISI was banned for three months after it published a story early this month linking big shots in the ruling party CCM to an alleged secret plot to oust President Jakaya Kikwete.