MCT stresses freedom of expression

THE Media Council of Tanzania has stressed for freedom of press and expression in the country saying they are fundamental factors for any democratic country.

Addressing journalists, editors and some advocates in a meeting held in Dar es Salaam, on Monday the MCT’s Ethics Committee Chairman, Judge Robert Makaramba said any person in the country has the right to  give personal opinions and also receive  others views.

“Any democratic has to respect these rights… without freedom of expression all other freedoms that we talk about will not succeed,” Judge Makaramba said

The event aimed at sharing with the public outcome of a number of cases facing journalists and media outlets as reached by the court.

“Most citizens are not aware of what is going on in court and even if they know, they should know how it help them in their lives…even if someone has failed in a case there must be a lesson that has to been learnt for a change of behavior,” he pointed out.

Addressing the participants, MCT Executive Secretary, Kajubi Mukajanga mentioned four cases that were already been concluded such as  the one faced the Managing Editor of Mseto Newspaper and HaliHalisi Publishers against the Attorney General of Tanzania (2016) and the case of the Media Council of Tanzania, Legal Human rights Centre and Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition against the Tanzania’s Attorney General (2017).

Other cases were that of the Union of Tanzania Press Clubs and HaliHalisi Publishers Limited against the country’s Attorney General of 2017 and HaliHalisi Publishers against the Deputy Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, the Director of Information Services Department and the Attorney General of 2018

Additionally, Mr Mukajanga said the aim of taking the cases publicly is to give room to people to learn from the past cases and provide insight of the court cases.

“We want that as we go forward we should have good materials for writing but also for those who will find themselves in an environment where they want to go to court they can have insight from these cases.

All the four cases involved the media, but generally were about the right of expression and the right to opinions where the complaints at different times said they were given punishment and banned without being given enough space to defend themselves.

Each case was presented by its advocate where, Mseto Newspaper and HaliHalisi Publishers against the Attorney General of Tanzania was presented by Advocate William Kahale, Media Council of Tanzania, Legal Human rights Centre and Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition against the Tanzania’s Attorney General by Advocate Renatha Seleman, Union of Tanzania Press Clubs and HaliHalisi Publishers Limited against the country’s Attorney General Advocate Shilinde Swedy and HaliHalisi Publishers against the Deputy Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, the Director of Information Services Department and the Attorney General by Advocate Jeremiah Mtobesya.

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