Tanzanian opposition MPs slam parliamentary broadcast ban

Dar es Salaam - Opposition members of Tanzania's parliament have lashed out against a ban on live coverage of sessions within the hallowed halls of the debate chamber, All Africa has reported.

The parliament's information, education and communication unit recently stated that it would solely be responsible for the recording and dissemination of parliamentary debates across interested radio and television stations.

The move, however, drew widespread criticism, with many opposition MPs claiming that government was merely seeking to suppress freedom of expression and hide its own mistakes.

In a bid to protest the matter, parliamentarians took it upon themselves to record sessions on mobile phones and other gadgets, so as to win popularity with their followers.

"I am telling you the truth, nobody had ever succeeded in fighting the technology. Banning live broadcasting won't stop MPs from reaching people, nobody can manage to challenge communication technology," a legislator for the country's Temeke district, Abdallah Mtolea, was quoted as saying.

A call for government to lift the ban took centre stage during World Press Freedom Day on May 4, with stakeholders claiming that the move was an "ambush on freedom of information".

Information Minister Nape Nnauye, however, defended the government's decision, saying that his ministry was ready to act as a mediator between parliament and media outlets.


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