Tanzania: Three Media Outlets Fined 19 Million/ – for Violating Laws

Three media outlets have been fined a total of 19m/- for violating regulations governing broadcasting services in the country.

These are the Independent Television ( ITV), which has been ordered to pay 10m/-, Clouds Television and Clouds Entertainment FM both ordered to pay 4m/- and 5m/- respectively.

Reading the judgment to reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority’s Content Committee Vice-Chairman, Joseph Mapunda, said the communications regulator also issued a strong warning to the three media outlets to ensure that they observe content regulations when airing their programmes.

He explained that ITV has been fined 10m/- for airing two separate programmes, which violated content regulations. In the first offence, Mapunda said ITV through its ‘Kumekucha’ programme conducted an interview with Iringa Urban legislator Peter Msigwa on June 15, this year, on budget analysis.

He said during the interview the presenter failed to control the interviewee, thus providing room for him to give out statements that insulted the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Dr Tulia Ackson. “The presenter didn’t take any effort to ask Msigwa to withdraw his statements and instead he continued with the interview,” Mapunda said.

He noted that the programme aired was contrary to Broadcasting Services Regulations (2005) which require every licencee to ensure that the programmes aired does not injure the reputation of individuals.

According to Mapunda, the regulations also require the presenter to air programmes that do not incite or perpetuate hatred against or vilify any group or person on the basis of ethnicity, race , gender religious or disability.

In the second offence, ITV was fined for broadcasting a news bulletin of a 16-year-old girl who was raped by his uncle by disclosing her name and school where she was studying contrary to the regulations.

He said the law restricts the identity of rape victims or victims of other sexual offences to be disclosed without the prior consent of the victim or disclose the identity of minors who are victims of rape or any other crime.

On Clouds TV, Mapunda said that the broadcaster through its Hip Hop programme aired two songs, Thanks for Coming of Mwana-FA and Break it Down of Lily Baby whose content embarrassed women.

He said that the songs were aired at a time when a substantial number of children were likely to be part of the audience, thus violating the regulations governing broadcasting services (content) which restrict such programme to be aired between 5.30am and 21pm.

Mapunda said that according to the broadcasting regulations, broadcasters are obliged to ensure that the programme aired observes good taste and decency and protect children from negative influence.

In another judgment, Clouds Entertainment FM has been ordered to pay a fine of 5m/- for allowing its presenters to support news of a man who had sex with a goat. “Presenters didn’t condemn such act but instead they were supporting it by giving out statements which didn’t show any condemnation,” he said.

Mapunda further said that the Radio station through its Power Breakfast programme, its presenters discussed news which was published in the newspaper about a three-year-old boy who underwent surgery at Muhimbili National Hospital to be implanted with a sexual organ because he was born without such organs.

He said the presentation of the news violated the broadcasting regulations because the presenters took it as a joke.

Source: Tanzania Daily News