“I would like to tell media owners – be careful, watch it. If you think you have that kind of freedom, (it is) not to that extent,” Tanzania President Magufuli warned the country’s journalists on Friday, noting that there were limits to their press freedom.
Magufuli made the remarks during the swearing in of new Information Minister Harrison Mwakyembe, who was appointed in a reshuffle, and whose predecessor; Nape Nnauye was sacked as retribution for ordering a probe into an alleged raid on a private television station by a senior government official.
Magufuli has been said to have ordered Mwakyembe to clamp down on media organizations that publish or broadcast material deemed to incite unrest, saying his government would not allow a few individuals to destabilize east Africa’s second-biggest economy, which is home to 50 million people.
Tanzania’s President Magufuli, is known for his strict leadership style, having dismissed dozens of senior public officials over allegations of corruption and inefficiency since he was elected in late 2015 as part of a reform drive.
Some have opined that these recent comments add to opposition concerns that his government is further narrowing the space for public criticism.